April 9, 2018

Once on the easy side

As I whined in the comments about the Erie elections, it is my curse to always defend the policy side that requires a long, tedious explanation. "Do you want them poisoning your kids?" ask the fractivists. Let's examinbe property rights and the rule of law, retorts I. Why in the 1758 case of Fignipple vs. Wallace....

But I think I have finally found an "easy one."

One of the elusive "common sense gun regulations" is to raise the minimum age for purchasing an AR-15 from 18 to 21. Surely, jk, you couldn't argue with this...

Well, yes, an 18 year-old is old enough to vote and be party to a contract. Why everything but beer and cigarettes is in the young adult's purview. But I am not going there. Instead, I paint a picture of a 20-year-old single mom with an abusive ex-boyfriend. Why are these uncaring monsters ready to prevent her from exercising choice about defending herself and her children? Why are they taking away a reliable, comfortable, and accurate method of defense?

Posted by John Kranz at 11:56 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Allow me to engage you on this one, as I have been making the case, privately, for a higher age limit on semi-automatics of any barrel length (or, really, anything with an interchangeable ammo magazine) than on single or double action guns.

Limiting your single-mom to a reliable Colt 38 or pump action shotgun causes no hardship in her defense against a single ex-boyfriend. A rapid reload weapon is the one to choose when defending against zombie attack, or any group of attackers - or when making and offensive *ahem* "assault" say against a school or a concert crowd.

So unless she has more than one ex threatening assault at once, she's good with the wheel gun.

As for "poisoning our kids" with fracking, when has that ever happened?

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2018 5:15 PM
But jk thinks:

"ThreeSources: where pride in your ideas goes to die!"™

My imaginary interlocutor responds with "She sure as hell doesn't need an AR-15!" He's not as well-informed as you, but the second part of my response might suffice:

"My problem is that you, progressive white person who lives in a safe community, are taking her options away. I would let her and a responsible firearms dealer decide -- not you.

"It might actually be best. Our subject is 5'5" 125 pounds. Wacko Boyfriendo is 6' and 220. He is bigger, stronger, more aggressive and more confident in a violent situation. The AR is comfortable, reliable, and capable of projecting threat."

I won't call you names, but I will suggest that a nervous young woman of smaller build will have a difficult time appearing imposing with the .38 revolver. I'm not a shotgun guy -- but in front of the kids?"

I'm a nutty libertarian dude -- I cannot imagine why anything is 21 after the 26th Amendment. But I still think this has legs in a consequentialist discussion. Your picks are good for an experienced handler, but why take choices away?

Posted by: jk at April 10, 2018 7:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I can't imagine why anyone opposes Federal Income Taxes after the 16th Amendment either - clearly the passage of a Constitutional Amendment evidences moral certitude on a subject.

Driving licenses (as unconstitutional as they may be) are not issued until age 16, and even then are attached with a growing list of restrictions. Yet for-profit businesses turn away customers below the age of 25. As it turns out, actuarial experience shows that drivers below that age are at significantly higher risk for bad judgment. In addition to this evidence we now have scientific understanding of juvenile human brain development showing that it doesn't fully mature "until at least the mid-20s."

So the same thinking that leads to learning permits for young drivers suggests that young shooters should establish proficiency with less efficient weapons. Is three years really too long to wait for the legal purchase of a high-capacity rifle? I mean, how is age 21 any more arbitrary than 18, or 16, for whatever adult responsibility we may be contemplating? Or age 25 for that matter. When the Constitution was drafted, average lifespans were about half what they are today.

My aim is not to eliminate youth access to high-capacity weapons, but to eliminate or at least reduce their UNSUPERVISED access to them. When purchased and controlled by an adult guardian, I would make no restrictions.

And a .38 Special may not look as menacing as an AR-15 on its own, but in the same diminutive hands one of them will be effective and the other too heavy and awkward to be of any use, whether she pulls the trigger or not.

Posted by: johngalt at April 11, 2018 3:53 PM
But jk thinks:

You left out how much I enjoyed Prohibition until those louche bastards repealed it. I find Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms odd exceptions to the age of majority. Sign contracts, marry, join the Marines -- but no Marlboros!

On the long gun, I'm forever colored. I know -- rather well --one particular female human who is uncomfortable with both heavy handguns and recoil of all but the smallest caliber cartridges. Watching the glow of this person holding an AR-15 in the store changed my life. While it is perhaps heavier in a box on the scale, the three-point stance of shoulder-arm-arm distributes the weight and recoil -- as one might choose an SUV over a motorcycle.

Posted by: jk at April 11, 2018 4:57 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I only advocate restriction of magazine reloadable weapons, not all long guns. This would cover semi-auto pistols for 18-20 year-olds, by the way. There are other long gun options to choose from.

And a disclaimer: This proposal is theoretical. I think it makes sense and have been soliciting reactions to it. So far I seem to be the only pro-gun person who likes it.

Posted by: johngalt at April 12, 2018 5:02 PM

October 20, 2016

The Right to Arm Toddlers

Hillary brought up "toddlers" a few more times, because little children are mostly adorable and no one wants to see them shot. -- David Harsanyi (all hail)
Pretty good debate last night. I loathe Mr. Trump's positions on immigration and trade, but seriously did consider voting for him in a lesser-of-two-very-evil-evils capacity.

Sec. Clinton's answer on DC v Heller sent me into apoplectic rage. Dick Heller was a licensed Police Officer and, one suspects, potty trained. He carried a firearm in Federal Buildings as part of his employment but was denied private ownership in his sketchy DC neighborhood. His obvious competence and the District's absence of State law made him an ideal plaintiff.

Sec. Clinton's continual musings of toddlers was disingenuous to the extreme -- even by Clinton standards.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:00 AM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2016

It's the Eponomy, Stupid!

I borrow the franchise from James Taranto.

I read a clever piece on the Cato blog about the futility of "common sense gun regulation."

But that doesn't mean we need new laws to limit firearm ownership. In an interview with ProPublica, Jeffrey Swanson of Duke University School of Medicine suggested that mental health professionals "can do a lot without invoking law, by talking to people about harm reduction and locking up guns." Other programs such as voluntary buybacks may reduce the number of household firearms.

But neither suicides nor gun deaths are "epidemics" in any real sense of the term. Overstating their frequency with inflated rhetoric creates an impetus for government action to do something -- even if that something is not effective at addressing the problem it's meant to solve.

Hear, hear. The author of that piece? Jonathan Blanks.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:57 PM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2016

"Good Guys" with Guns

I post these as a bookmark as much as a sermon to the choir.

My lefty facebook friends (I don't know whether I have ever mentioned it before, but yes, some of my feed skews left) have posted several versions of memes asserting that it has NEVER happened that a civilian, carry-permit holder has stopped a shooting.

Never? I remember a couple in Colorado off the top of my head, and hear of them from time to time. Eugene Volokh publishes a better list

A while back I posted about a few examples, but since then there have been some more, so I thought I'd note them. Naturally, such examples will be rare. Even in states which allow concealed carry, there often aren't people near a shooting who have a gun on them at the time. Many mass shootings happen in supposedly "gun-free" zones (such as schools, universities, bars, or private property posted with a no-guns sign), in which gun carrying isn't allowed in many states. And there is no central database of such examples, many of which don’t hit the national media, especially if a gunman is stopped before he shoots many victims. Moreover, at least some examples are ambiguous, because it might be unclear -- as you’ll see below -- whether the shooter had been planning to kill more people when he was stopped.

I like that he is deliberately cautious. The Swift-boat phenomenon dictates that if your most outlandish claim is discredited -- all your claims are thusly falsified. His list is careful and well documented.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2016

And then there's this...

Posted by John Kranz at 9:52 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm staging a sit-in in my home office today. It's going to be EPIC!!!

Posted by: jk at June 24, 2016 10:21 AM

All Hail Insty!


Posted by John Kranz at 9:49 AM | Comments (0)

Point - Counterpoint

I'm not saying we're polarized as a nation or anything. But


Two spaces down:


Posted by John Kranz at 9:19 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

And their sit in is so important and they are so dedicated to their cause that when the Speaker recessed the house for a couple of weeks, they all went home. Hey gang, you won! You took control of the well of the house! Pwn it! Hold press conferences every day to rub it in that you won!

Unless it was all just a stunt. In that case, go home quietly.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2016 11:15 AM

Point - Counterpoint

I'm not saying we're polarized as a nation or anything. But


Two spaces down:


Posted by John Kranz at 9:19 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

And their sit in is so important and they are so dedicated to their cause that when the Speaker recessed the house for a couple of weeks, they all went home. Hey gang, you won! You took control of the well of the house! Pwn it! Hold press conferences every day to rub it in that you won!

Unless it was all just a stunt. In that case, go home quietly.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2016 11:15 AM

June 21, 2016

Elevator Talk on Guns

The cavernous divide between Americans on Guns is startling. On many contentious issues, I suggest people understand the other side's position. They certainly do not accept it, and may likely not admit it, but in disagreements over gay rights and even abortion, down very deep, most interlocutors know the other side's arguments on some level.

On guns, I am startled that this is not the case. As a late-life convert to Second Amendment rights, maybe I can look across the divide one way. Guns are scary, and wishing a world without them is illogical but understandable. (My elevator talk on that aspect is "Yeah, we tried that. It's called the Middle Ages. The biggest meanest guy gets everything he wants.")

But on #commonsensegunregulation which 90% of Americans want if only the #meanoldNRA would let them have it, I have a new spiel. It's consequentialist and may not go over well here, but here's tryin'. Plus I'm certain my more knowledgeable peers can tighten the technical arguments as well.

Despite what the "do something" politicians say there's no low hanging fruity on gun legislation.

"Assault Weapons" are distinguished by cosmetic features. Standard hunting rifles are frequently much more lethal than the scary looking guns that are to be regulated. The AR-15 is wildly popular because it is comfortable, lightweight, and customizable. There have been 30 million guns sold on that platform -- not to 30 million serial killers, but 30 million sportsmen, hunters and self defense enthusiasts. I surmise that a lot of Toyotas are used in crimes. It's not a "criminal's car" but a popular car full stop.

Almost all legal sales are subject to background checks. The idea that multiple loopholes can be quickly plugged is simply not true. Private sales are still allowed. In a true story, I sold one and gave one away when I moved. It was to an ex-cop who was a good friend of mine. Trust me, those will not be employed in crime. Should I really have been forced to go to a dealer and pay money to run a background check?

If you want to discuss radially reducing gun owners' rights and access to weapons, fine that is a conversation to have. But do not accept this idea that "commonsense" measures will stop criminals' access and not affect lawful users. Everything that fits that bill has been done.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:14 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

It turns out that common sense isn't as common as it used to be. Now it's a different kind of sense that one typically encounters - nonsense.

Posted by: johngalt at June 21, 2016 5:15 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

There's a bumper sticker I've seen that says: Common Sense is so rare it should be declared a super power!

Posted by: nanobrewer at June 22, 2016 12:11 AM
But jk thinks:


Perhaps "common sense" is the problem. It is sold on the same rack as "common knowledge:" no proof or reason required. You just know that guns are bad.

Posted by: jk at June 22, 2016 9:23 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I had wanted to include the only Heinlein quote I could find on common sense, and now that brother jk has teed it up:

"I was just trying to show you," he went on, "just how insubstantial a 'common sense' idea can be when you pin it down. Neither 'common sense' nor 'logic' can prove anything. Proof comes from experiment, or to put it another way, from experience, and from nothing else." Chapter 10, "The Method of Science" (p. 105)

From the book 'Rocket Ship Galileo' (1947) which I haven't read. dagny?

Posted by: johngalt at June 22, 2016 1:53 PM
But dagny thinks:

Probably read it. Don't remember it.

Posted by: dagny at June 22, 2016 5:56 PM

June 16, 2016

I'm difficult to offend

Remember when Gov. Palin was held responsible for the shooting of Rep. Giffords because she had drawn a map of Tucson with Proofreaders' marks? Good times!

A family member posts this on Facebook:


I am truly astonished.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:53 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I am cruelly indifferent ... to their hyperbole.

Posted by: johngalt at June 16, 2016 7:05 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Here's a relevant question: how many of these mass murders were carried out by NRA members? I'm ever so curious.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 17, 2016 2:45 PM

Not That There's Anything Wrong with That...

I have been talking about acquiring a Colorado Concealed Carry Permit for some time. My cousin is also interested. I got a nice compact Sig Sauer .380 for my birthday, ran into my cousin, and it is all systems go after a year of talking about it (I was the limiting reagent).

But I read about the most admirable surge in Gays' arming themselves. My grooming is clearly not up to par for me to be mistaken, but my cousin, I dunno...

Posted by John Kranz at 6:14 PM | Comments (3)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Did you get the P232, or the P238? Either way, very nice choice. If it's compact, I'm guessing it's the P238. Soon you'll be collecting them like guitars.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at June 17, 2016 2:56 PM
But jk thinks:

This is my first "nice" one. I owned a couple lower-end Rugers and Beretta.

As they were processing my background check, I thought "Man, my blog brothers will be so proud of me for owning a Sig." Then I thought "no they won't, it's a .380."


Posted by: jk at June 17, 2016 3:35 PM
But johngalt thinks:

S&W M&P.
.40SW. (nearly identical terminal ballistics as .45ACP.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 21, 2016 5:07 PM

Not a winning issue in Colorado

Yeah an online poll. But methinks gun-grabbing fascist democrats our friends across the aisle might be overreaching again.



Posted by John Kranz at 12:33 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. I was happy to pile on.

Tell me, Hillary. Would your new ban also apply to licensed security professionals, like the Orlando murderer? The rifle used in this crime was most likely a fully-automatic model. A "machine gun" that is already "banned" from sale to the general public.

Posted by: johngalt at June 16, 2016 2:43 PM
But AndyN thinks:

The rifle he used is almost definitely not fully automatic. I know reporting on these things is awful, so I'm not assuming that they've correctly identified the model even now, but it looks like he was using a Sig Sauer MCX that he personally bought brand new recently.

Even if they still don't have that information right, you have to know that it's an absolute certainty that if he was using a machine gun, it would be headline news.

More to the point though, if Hillary wants even licensed security professionals to stop carrying autoloaders of any type, she can lead by example and insist that her security detail abandon every weapon they currently use in favor of revolvers.

Posted by: AndyN at June 17, 2016 10:43 AM

June 6, 2016

The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua

Clearly, the 13th Amendment, like all Amendments is subject to reasonable, local and state regulation. I think that's what Sec. Clinton is trying to say here.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:48 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2016


Dudley Brown and his Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, not highly regarded by Three Sourcers, made news again last week, albeit under the radar of the "Great Rocky Mountain Delegate Heist for #NeverTrump." What went unmentioned in reports of Darryl Glenn's upset thumping of Tim Neville was that Neville was strongly promoted by Brown's RMGO group. Another Colorado lightning rod, former congressman Tom Tancredo, says the defeat marks the "end of an era" in Colorado politics.

But Brown has chosen to fight against the Convention of States. And in doing so, he has tipped his hand as to where he really stands on our rights. In fighting against the Convention of States Project, a campaign he wages in hysterical emails full of misinformation and straw men arguments, he has raked in millions in donations, especially to NAGR: $12.5 million in 2014 (the most recent information available), and $16.5 million in 2013.

Worse, Brown has threatened to primary any legislator who supports a resolution applying for a Convention for Proposing Amendments. But it is precisely this kind of arrogance, this deal-making, this pressuring in order to advance his own agenda for his organization – in other words, this cronyism – that the voters are overwhelmingly rejecting this cycle. He asked for this with his actions, and he got it.

Those legislators and candidates in Brown's camp would do well to note the toxicity that extended to Neville and how the voters made their distaste for Brown and RMGO plain by rejecting his candidate. If they wish to remain in office, they should consider distancing themselves from him and his insider politics.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:22 AM | Comments (0)

March 1, 2016

All Hail Caldera!

I have a hard and fast rule against responding to direct mail fundraising. You support something, you get more of it.

But Jon Caldera has sent a brilliant eight page letter warning of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's continued intrusion into Colorado politics. It begins with "Heeeeeee's back" and closes with this clever appeal:


You could do much worse with you money: www.i2i.org

Posted by John Kranz at 9:58 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I might be able to part with $17. Or $22, $38 or even $40. $308 and $454 are outside of my sight picture, however.

Posted by: johngalt at March 1, 2016 12:26 PM
But jk thinks:


Posted by: jk at March 1, 2016 12:55 PM

January 6, 2016

The President's Gun Control Speech

We could have a serious discussion of his "nanoball" proposals, but I'm going to just give up and let a goofy meme tell my story:

Posted by John Kranz at 9:21 AM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Can't do it. I'd make a terrible Facebook lefty. (I got into a bloody scrape yesterday about #YallQueda).

Maybe we need to use brother jg's tactics. He suggested that we accept the Paris Climate CHange accords and say Yup, fixed it! Can we move on now?

Likewise, we might say. Okay, Obama fixed that! Yup, new guidance to ATF on what constitutes a dealer. We're done!

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2016 9:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I was struck by all the problems the President explained would not be solved as he began his Oscar-worthy performance. "So why do it then" I wondered?

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2016 5:33 PM
But jk thinks:

For the children.

Posted by: jk at January 6, 2016 5:44 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh yeah, them. Well, apparently not. And law-abiding poor blacks are the hardest hit:

There are real costs of expanding background checks to private transfers. In particular, the fees on private transfers. Law-abiding poor blacks who live in high crime urban areas and who benefit the most from protecting themselves will be the ones most likely priced out of owning guns for protection.

Without some benefits in terms of either reduced crime or mass public shootings, it is
hard to see how these rules pass any type of cost-benefit test.

(From the conclusion of the report linked at the bottom of the linked page above, which shows that rates of killing and injury are higher - 80% and 101% respectively - from mass public shootings in states adopting additional background checks on private firearm transfers.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 6, 2016 7:06 PM

December 19, 2015

Another "Gun Culture Atrocity"

The widespread public ownership of guns has apparently claimed two more victims, late-night workers in a convenience store who were shot to death in a crime described by the local police chief as "over-the-top violence, absolutely unnecessary, gratuitous -- evil."

Except that this crime wasn't commited in America. It was in gun-phobic Canada. Edmonton, to be precise.

Knecht said investigators have made a possible link between the suspects and other recent robberies. It's unclear why the crimes escalated. Surveillance video shows the two victims were passive and co-operative.

"I would suggest they did not expect to be executed," he said.

Fear not, for the authorities are eager to "better protect vulnerable, night-shift retail workers, who are often young people and immigrants." Through legislation.

He wants to see Alberta follow regulations in place in British Columbia, where employers must have more than one night person on duty or keep lone staffers in locked areas and behind barriers. Manitoba also has similar legislation.

"Behind bars. Err, barriers." Um, weren't there two people on duty in this case?

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

Clearly some miscreants down South from Nanuvut.

On a serious note, it is curious how closely the stats correlate with geographic proximity and not national affiliation: Manitoba and Montana, Nova Scotia with New Hampshire, Saskatchewan and North Dakota, Alberta with Wyoming and Colorado.

Washington State and British Columbia seem to be outliers, but BC and Idaho are close. The first non-fiction book that truly captivated me wa Joel Garreau's "Nine Nations of North America." Placed in Garreau's buckets, the stats line up pretty well.

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2015 1:31 PM
But AndyN thinks:

I had to buy "The Nine Nations of North America" for an American government class in college and although I don't even remember reading it, for whatever reason it's been one of the few books I didn't sell back to the bookstore. It's somehow stayed with me through at least half a dozen moves since then. Since you say it was truly captivating, I just went and pulled it off my bookshelf and will read it when I'm done with the book I'm currently in the middle of.

Posted by: AndyN at December 20, 2015 9:18 AM
But Jk thinks:

Thirty three years old, and it holds up pretty well. I'd give it a try. It has stuck with me.

Posted by: Jk at December 20, 2015 3:53 PM

December 16, 2015

Watch Your Ass in Nunavut

If it does not freeze off, you may get shot!

Ignore my flippant headline and read the insanely cool gun stats that Mises.org has assembled, comparing US States to Canadian provinces and territories.

Indeed, the northern United States in general tends to have quite low homicide rates in a global context. (There are problems with comparing across national boundaries. For more on that see below.)

Within North America, the jurisdictions with the lowest homicide rates include all of New England, the northern plains states of the US, and the Pacific Northwest. Most of Canada reports low rates as well, with the exception of the rural north, where Nunavut territory has the worst homicide rate in both the US and Canada.

Hell, even I buy into the "crazed gun culture" / "this doesn't happen anywhere else" arguments. But the chart effectively destroys any dreams of correlation between gun laws and homicides.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:34 PM | Comments (0)

December 9, 2015

Charles C W Cooke on 2nd Amendment

In a WaPo forum, Cooke nails it:

Reacting to this argument, we often hear advocates of gun control propose that the Founders' observations are irrelevant because they could "not have imagined the modern world." I agree with the latter assertion: They couldn't have. As well-read in world history as they were, there is no way that they could have foreseen just how prescient they were in insisting on harsh limitations of government power. In their time, "tyranny" was comparatively soft -- their complaints focused on under-representation and the capricious restriction of ancient rights. In the past century, by contrast, tyranny involved the systematic execution of entire groups and the enslavement of whole countries. The notion that if James Madison had foreseen the 20th century he would have concluded that the Bill of Rights was too generous is laughable.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:33 PM | Comments (0)

December 4, 2015

"How can we stop these shootings, togeeeether?"

Gypped from a very good RedState piece, 'This is Why Fox News Continues to Destroy CNN and MSNBC' here is CNN's Carol Costello emoting and John R. Lott Jr. reasoning:

We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five ...

Back to RedState:

It's the day after what might be the first major Al-Qaeda attack on American soil since 9/11, and FoxNews is giving people news. MSNBC and CNN are giving people sermons on gun control. And that's why FoxNews is winning.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (3)
But jk thinks:

But, John. John. John. Surely you are ready to throw away your lifetime of research and science and accept the conventional wisdom...

Posted by: jk at December 4, 2015 3:06 PM
But AndyN thinks:

But CNN and MSNBC both totally beat Faux News to the rummaging through an active, sealed crime scene scoop!

Posted by: AndyN at December 4, 2015 6:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. In the live version of "Dirty Laundry" Don Henley dedicates to "Rupert Murdoch."

Sweet irony.

Posted by: johngalt at December 4, 2015 7:23 PM

October 20, 2015

Maybe y'all will dig it.

Here's the piece that got me into trouble today. I'm not a Rothbard fan in toto, but I thought that this piece exhibited a great balance of rights-based and consequentialist libertarianism.

If, as libertarians believe, every individual has the right to own his person and property, it then follows that he has the right to employ violence to defend himself against the violence of criminal aggressors.
In a notable article attacking control of handguns (the type of gun liberals most want to restrict), St. Louis University law professor Don B. Kates, Jr., chides his fellow liberals for not applying the same logic to guns that they use for marijuana laws. Thus, he points out that there are over fifty million handgun owners in America today, and that, based on polls and past experience, from two-thirds to over eighty percent of Americans would fail to comply with a ban on handguns.

Professor Kates gets a bit harsher:
Gun prohibition is the brainchild of white middle-class liberals who are oblivious to the situation of poor and minority people living in areas where the police have given up on crime control. Such liberals weren't upset about marijuana laws, either, in the fifties when the busts were confined to the ghettos. Secure in well-policed suburbs or high-security apartments guarded by Pinkertons (whom no one proposes to disarm), the oblivious liberal derides gun ownership as "an anachronism from the Old West."

Okay, so I knew my friend would not say "Oh boy, a Murray Rothbard piece on Gun rights!" But I have endured a tsunami of lefty sites and memes and suggested that this piece summed up my feelings pretty well. I posted it on his timeline to ensure that he saw and to write a special message. Oops. That was -- I am emphatically told -- a social media faux pas.

I don't have a parochial attitude about my FB page, but I guess I can see it. Being "all about property rights," I swore to never do it again. He swore some too.

See if it plays better to the home crowd.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:53 PM | Comments (7)
But nanobrewer thinks:

I only paste replies on others' timelines. The real frothing-o'keyboard types will spot anything close to inflammatory and jump all over it anyway...

But, yes, their *ahem* marking instinct (with all that implies) will be extra vigorous on their own page!

Posted by: nanobrewer at October 20, 2015 6:18 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

What a silly thing to get upset about. You can control what shows up on your feed after all.

P.S. You have permission to put anything you want on my wall.

Posted by: T. Greer at October 21, 2015 4:04 AM
But jk thinks:

Likewise. He is a good guy and one of the former token lefties this site has tried to recruit (retention, not recruitment, has been the issue). He has become quite emotional on this. My writing was ambiguous, but I meant that the tsunami of anti-gun material has been predominantly from him.

I don't mean to beat up, but I think much of this can be blamed on Jon Stewart. I have an increasingly large cohort that wishes to be the Internet Jon Stewart. Post something, comment on the total intellectual troglodytism of anyone who disagrees, and let a few friends comment "Atta boy!"

Sorry to litigate in this friendly venue, and wish to beat up on Stewartism and not my one practitioner. But this a good example. I sit through five or ten links of varying quality. Maybe an interesting NYTimes editorial, three nutjob sites, and a handful of "memes." I answer ten with one (isn't that a biblical thing?) and am guilty of escalation. I suggest these folks have picked up their style from the COmedy Channel. Just as they thought that was news for many years, they forever think that is how punditry works.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2015 10:52 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, the reaction you describe is quite perplexing. It's the kind of response one might expect from a gun control zealot if you were to do something truly egregious - like draw a cartoon of a gun.

Posted by: johngalt at October 21, 2015 12:32 PM
But jk thinks:

I was going to send someone else a link to our immigration discussion as an example of high minded and serious debate. Then I remembered that some loser said something about "Senator Sessions would not know freedom if it bit him in his pointy ass." Oh, well. Maybe not.

Posted by: jk at October 21, 2015 4:03 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I see the problem: you have proposed a logical, practical solution (to violence/crime) to an emotional problem. This emotional problem has - in this example - 3 parts that well describes (if not completely) the modern Prog mindset:

1. Guns scare me... only in the hands of a guy in uniform (aka, respected authority figure) are they OK
2. daddy make me safe! Oh well, government will do for now...
3. People scare/bother me... I need them to be more like "me" or controlled under scenario #1
4. Stewart-ism... the search for the dispositive "me so smart" hmmm.... certainly the internet encourages this sort of snarky, inbred behavior.

My quick reading (a good read!) may be wrong, but I think Rothbard only covered #2. I'm encouraging an underemployed friend to write a post on "guns saving lives" (he can rip them out right good over beers!). I pledged to post it here.. if he ever makes good.

before New YorkState outlawed handguns, Good Samaritan instances were far more widespread than now. And, in a recent survey of Good Samaritan cases, no less than 81% of the Samaritans were owners of guns.
Wow. Posted by: nanobrewer at October 23, 2015 2:46 PM

October 14, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Mess not with Weld County.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. -- Two burglary suspects in Weld County were arrested late Friday morning after hitting several spots in a couple of towns in the area, and it was all thanks to two locals who used their pistols to scae them into surrendering.

As Bill Whittle says (~4:40) about Plano, TX: "They have a virtual arsenal of AR-15 assault rifles, semi-automatic shotguns, 30.06 hunting rifles, they've got .45s, they have .357s, they have .38s, they have 9mms, they have an assortment of .22s for the kids to practice with . . . they have pointy rocks and sharp sticks!" This can be applied to most of Weld County, though I fear for my little corner, which features the ever green problem of people fleeing Boulder and bringing it all with them.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:17 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

You are in the most important part of the county: The front line with BOCO. Stock up!

Posted by: johngalt at October 15, 2015 1:29 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh. Front lines. Vista Pointe has fallen but I might be able to hold Vista Ridge.

Posted by: jk at October 16, 2015 2:48 PM

October 2, 2015

Cue the Australia Success Stories

The antidote to your Facebook feed:

No, Australia is not an example of the effectiveness of gun control.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:07 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Did you hear about the concealed handgun carrier who was killed in the Roseburg shooting? That's because there wasn't one.

Posted by: johngalt at October 2, 2015 1:05 PM

June 23, 2015

All Hail Taranto!

I don't want to get a reputation as a Pope basher but -- oh, hell, I suppose it is too late now:


UPDATE All Hail Harsanyi! Piling on with "Five Times Weapons of War Saved Christians"

Posted by John Kranz at 3:35 PM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2015

NAGR, RMGO are not gun owners' friends

Most ThreeSourcers are aware of the dynamics that cause politicians to resist actually solving problems that they claim to champion, and that those factors cause the same to happen with social activist groups - think Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition. But what never occurred to me until now is that, sometimes, the same thing can happen in gun rights advocacy.

JK dubbed the National Association for Gun Rights the "People's Gun Rights of Judea two weeks ago. He directed ire at the NRA for blacklisting pols who associate with the competing group. Without any opining on the NRA in its own right, it is becoming painfully clear that the NAGR and it's Colorado predecessor, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) are not gun owners' friends.

A full-blown public war of words has developed between RMGO and Colorado liberty groups and the Independence Institute. Independence's president, Jon Caldera, held a radio telethon of sorts to lay out the depth and breadth of RMGO malfeasance. In short, it is opposing state legislation that would EXPAND gun rights, in the form of increasing magazine capacity limits, for the express reason that ANY limitation is an infringement on gun rights and gun owners should hold out for full repeal of the law.

"Shut your pie hole and go buy one [magazine of 16 round capacity or more] and ignore the law," said Dudley Brown, president of RMGO. But ignoring the law doesn't make it go away, and the law's existence helps RMGO raise money through political donations by citizens who fear that the law will be expanded, not rolled back. Okay Dudley, will YOU ignore the law? Will you stop fundraising on it?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:43 PM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2015

Life Is ThreeSources

And the Internet Segue Machine® is bangin' on all eight!

Democracy? Gun Rights? Sec. Clinton for President? Reason is on it.

June 2014: "I believe that we need a more thoughtful conversation," Clinton says while promoting her memoir on CNN. "We cannot let a minority of people--and that's what it is, it is a minority of people--hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people." She says she favors "background checks that work" and twice refers erroneously to mass shooters with "automatic" weapons.

We cannot let a few escaped agricultural partners terrorize the effective enforcement of the Runaway Slave Act...

Posted by John Kranz at 2:45 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"...a viewpoint that terrorizes..." people? So thoughts can invoke terror, in Hillary's village?

And the deciding factor, she seems to imply, is whether the thought in question is a minority or majority view.

Or perhaps it's just whether or not it agrees with her Utopia.

I think we have an answer to the question of what to call Mrs. Clinton instead of the sexist label "Hillary." Hillary Clinton is Starlight Glimmer.

Posted by: johngalt at April 14, 2015 1:55 PM

April 10, 2015

The People's Gun Rights of Judea!


Senator Paul a no-show at the NRA convention? What, did he have a fundraiser at PETA?

Sen. Rand Paul wasn't invited to speak at this weekend’s National Rifle Association annual convention because the Kentucky Republican is caught in the crossfire between competing gun-rights organizations.

Top NRA officials are unhappy that Mr. Paul has for years lent his name to fundraising solicitations for the National Association for Gun Rights, a group that fashions itself a more conservative alternative to NRA. Mr. Paul's aides have been told by the NRA he will be unwelcome to participate at NRA events as long as he remains affiliated with NAGR, according to people familiar with the conversation.

As I beg the Libertarian Party to remake itself in the image of the NRA, I have to check out the Judean Peoples' Gun Rights group -- some of the NRA's underlying principles seem to lack principle on occasion.

Hat-tip: Jim Geraghty

Posted by John Kranz at 9:58 AM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Related: RMGO is taking heat for its "stupid" stance on magazine limit compromise on at least one talk radio show. Backstory here.

Posted by: johngalt at April 10, 2015 6:27 PM
But Jk thinks:

RMGO is stupid on everything. They are an evil organization using a name to coopt Second Amendment enthusiasts into many bad endeavors.

Have they any friends around here?

Posted by: Jk at April 11, 2015 2:15 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I forgot to make the connection: NAGR is the RMGO founder's latest effort. They are very likely a national and a local version of the same thing.

Posted by: johngalt at April 13, 2015 1:17 PM
But jk thinks:

Damn, damn, damn. Thou art correct. Dudley Brown is President of both organizations.

This does not speak well of Senator Paul's discernment.

This is some inside baseball to Colorado Second Amendment enthusiasts, but Brown is a crank of sorts -- and I apologize if I in any way disparage cranks. While the NRA was racking up national victories, and the SAF was winning McDonald v Chicago, Brown was suffering ignominious defeats in his backyard -- while he was parading against abortion and gay marriage.

About the only good thing I can say is that Dudley Brown failed to pay his taxes for three years (computer crash -- he should have spun up a VM on clintonemail.com).

Yes, I'd love to see the NRA challenged by a rights-based advocacy group. I think the group you're looking for is the SAF

Posted by: jk at April 13, 2015 2:21 PM
But johngalt thinks:

RMGO stupidity update: http://gazette.com/editorial-group-harms-gun-rights/article/1549663

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2015 3:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

More than you ever wanted to know about the false premises of RMGO can be learned in this KHOW radio podcast. As CompleteColorado dot com billed it, "KHOW audio: Caldara does monster telethon against RMGO."link

Posted by: johngalt at April 24, 2015 2:38 PM

March 18, 2015

Thought Experiment of the day

Talking with a friend today I observed what a large percentage of US shootings involve gang activity. "What is the root cause of gang violence," I asked? "Gangs." "What is the root cause of gangs," I replied? "Drugs."

This lead to a bold and controversial assertion on my part: "Kids should be able to sell drugs at a corner stand, just like they were lemonade."

Suppose that were true? All illicit drugs are decriminalized overnight. What would happen?

I predict that some people would engage in public drug trade. And communities would drive them to the fringes of society. Parents would take a more active role in discussing and dissuading and punishing their kids. Would gangs disappear? Perhaps not right away. But being permitted to operate in the light of day their nemesis would become self-interested citizens rather than self-dealing police departments and the courts that enable them. Tell me how this would be undesirable?

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:37 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

Preach it, brother!

I came to my sentiments on drug policy not from John Stuart Mill or Milton Friedman -- though both are persuasive -- but from Billie Holiday's "Lady Sings the Blues" and Richard Price's novel "Clockers." Holiday had no opportunity to seek treatment for addiction in Jim Crow America; Clockers details the recruitment of young men for the drug trade using asymmetric earnings that would not exist in my blog brother's world.

I wanted to crank up the debate again (thanks!) as an excuse to watch Jon Caldara interview with Prof Dr. Alexandre Padilla of Metro State. One interesting consequence of legalization (~4:10) is that there is less access to drugs for minors in a legal market, because sellers have a reputational incentive to be good where they can maximize profit in the adult community.

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2015 3:03 PM
But jk thinks:

UPDATE: I embedded the video above.

Watching it, it occurs I have to be the ThreeSources statist today and abjure the corner heroin stands.

Licensed, neighborhood drug emporia would be preferable to ensure the collection of taxes and prevent sales to minors. Sorry to harsh on everyone's mellow.

Posted by: jk at March 18, 2015 3:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I will take age discrimination off of the table for now. This is the one kind of government discrimination that might be valid.

And I'm not really for taxing or regulating either. Heroin garage sales? Why not? Just be damn sure you ask for I.D.

And your @$(#ing meth lab is now legal, but is prohibited in residential areas by zoning laws. Get that crap outta the city.

Posted by: johngalt at March 18, 2015 3:48 PM
But johngalt thinks:

None of the brothers or sisters are taking our bait. Why don't they want to discuss our plan to corrupt American youth by letting each of them decide how to live his own life?

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2015 11:41 AM

December 23, 2014

"Stop gun violence - take guns to school!"

Or is that not the "logic" behind this nonsensical PSA?

First doctors are instructed to ask kids if their parents have guns. Then someone can believe this is a good idea. If the madness continues apace we'll soon need a signed permission slip from our kids to buy a gun. Or a non-electric car. Or a cigarette.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:09 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by: jk at December 23, 2014 6:34 PM
But Jk thinks:

Eugene Volokh is not impressed.

Posted by: Jk at December 23, 2014 8:51 PM

December 17, 2014

All Hail Taranto!



Posted by John Kranz at 5:23 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2014

Tweet of the Day

Still like brother jg's better, but this might find some fans 'round these parts:

Posted by John Kranz at 12:44 PM | Comments (4)
But dagny thinks:

An armed society is a polite society - R.A.H.

Posted by: dagny at October 23, 2014 1:00 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

My contribution: http://bit.ly/1pGxqhC

And congratulations to Mr. Manning and your Broncos. I'm not sure if seven touchdowns in four days is a record (they had a short week...), but it is a worthy feat.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at October 23, 2014 11:58 PM
But johngalt thinks:

"Greedy much," you may ask? It should'a been eight.

But in the Bolts defense, some of those zebra rulings were fish-eye worthy.

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2014 11:52 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Great contribution. Love the commercial angle.

Posted by: johngalt at October 24, 2014 11:53 AM

October 3, 2014


Posted by John Kranz at 10:35 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

One of us should post a link to the entire debate vid here too. I've seen it posted but don't remember where.

Posted by: johngalt at October 3, 2014 4:15 PM
But jk thinks:

One of us ought to. And one of us can't find it...

Posted by: jk at October 3, 2014 5:36 PM

July 16, 2014

Answering the tough questions...

Hat-tip: Weld County Sheriff (and Amy Oliver's husband) John Cooke.

Posted by John Kranz at 2:27 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Good stuff. Love the beverage choice, "cowboy."

Posted by: johngalt at July 16, 2014 2:42 PM
But jk thinks:

Heh -- missed that.

Posted by: jk at July 16, 2014 2:52 PM

Quote of the Day

Michael Walsh responds to Rolling Stone's amazingly stupid even for them Five Most Dangerous Guns."

The Five Most Dangerous Dogs:
· Big dogs
· Little dogs
· Medium Sized Dogs
· Male Dogs
· Female Dogs
Posted by John Kranz at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

June 19, 2014

Hickenlooper Gun Ban Denial Goes Horribly Wrong!

I like the old-fashioned ways of politics better, where they actually got creative in their prevarication. The lies we're told today are so phony, so obviously transparent, it takes all the fun out of exposing them. But I will say we rarely get to see the unvarnished gut reaction when a politician is caught red handed in an outright lie. Full stop period. Like this:

"How many apologies do you want? What the f***!"

Only one for each lie, governor.

HT: Westword Blog post.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:34 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

Sadly, he lost Mayor Bloomberg's emails when his hard drive crashed -- I guess we'll never know.

Posted by: jk at June 20, 2014 12:12 PM

February 13, 2014

David Kopel on San Diego Gun Rights

Whining is a good time, but we need to celebrate when the NINTH CIRCUIT FER CRYIN' OUT LOUD affirms 2nd Amendment rights.

The Ninth Circuit's decision in Peruta v. San Diego, released minutes ago, affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public.

California law has a process for applying for a permit to carry a handgun for protection in public, with requirements for safety training, a background check, and so on. These requirements were not challenged. The statute also requires that the applicant have "good cause," which was interpreted by San Diego County to mean that the applicant is faced with current specific threats. (Not all California counties have this narrow interpretation.) The Ninth Circuit, in a 2-1 opinion written by Judge O'Scannlain, ruled that Peruta was entitled to Summary Judgement, because the "good cause" provision violates the Second Amendment.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:24 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Wow, just when you think nobody in government knows how to read, or believes that established law applies "in all circumstances." Perhaps this is the start of the long-awaited Judicial Smack-Down of Constitutional scofflaws.

Posted by: johngalt at February 13, 2014 9:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

From my SoCal brother-in-law today:

Could it be that California may surpass Colorado in freedom of self defense?

And, later:

I'm absolutely floored.
Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2014 5:25 PM

January 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

All Hail Taranto! I agreed to abandon my 2.4% attraction to guaranteed minimum income on brother jg's evidence that it would not sate the insatiable.

Soon after, James Taranto adds this to the gun-rights debate:

Further, this column generally agrees with Venola's give-no-ground position, though on pragmatic grounds rather than principled ones. If we thought the antigun side of the debate were interested in good-faith compromise, we'd be all for it. The dishonesty of their debating tactics, their ghoulish and opportunistic use of horrific crimes like the Newtown massacre to advance their agenda, and the onerous (and likely unconstitutional) regulations that exist in places where they hold political sway--such as New York City, where we live--persuade us otherwise.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:09 PM | Comments (0)

January 4, 2014

Detroit Crime Decline

Detroit has a new police chief. James Craig, according to the AP, is "a former chief of police in Cincinnati and Portland, Maine, has made sweeping changes to the way crime is tackled in Detroit." To wit:

- Stop closing some neighborhood police stations at night.
- Use crime stats to identify trouble spots.
- Move detectives back into precincts.
- Clean house in the command structure.

Good ideas all, and no surprise that crime might decline after such measures. But there's more. The news piece seemed complete when I read this tacked on the end:

"A recently rolled out tactical response unit confiscated about 17 guns in its first two days of operation."


"We know definitively - when you look at the level of violence in Detroit - when we stop someone who has illegal possession of a gun we've probably stopped a robbery," Craig said. "We've probably stopped a shooting, and more likely a homicide."

Ho hum, another big city police chief blaming guns for crime. Well, not exactly. According to The Detroit News, he also said this:

"Coming from California (Craig was on the Los Angeles police force for 28 years), where it takes an act of Congress to get a concealed weapon permit, I got to Maine, where they give out lots of CCWs (carrying concealed weapon permits), and I had a stack of CCW permits I was denying; that was my orientation."

"I changed my orientation real quick. Maine is one of the safest places in America. Clearly, suspects knew that good Americans were armed."

Craig's statements Thursday echoed those he made Dec. 19 on "The Paul W. Smith Show" on WJR (760 AM), when he said: "There's a number of CPL (concealed pistol license) holders running around the city of Detroit. I think it acts as a deterrent. Good Americans with CPLs translates into crime reduction. I learned that real quick in the state of Maine."

Shazam! Maybe things really can get bad enough that authorities are forced to do things that really work, instead of things that merely sound like they might. Same article:

"It's a huge, radical departure for the police chief to say good people should have access to firearms," said [Detroit gun safety instructor Rick] Ector. "I'm not ready to say he's pro-gun just yet, but it's vastly different from what police chiefs have said in the past."

Yes, absolutely. Unfortunately, the way AP reported his Thursday press conference is not at all different from how they have done so in the past.

H/T: My sis via, Fox News.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:36 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Chief Craig was on "The Independents" on FOX Business last night (a VERY GOOD show, by the way!) and he is the real deal.

Posted by: jk at January 7, 2014 12:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Glad to hear it. Maybe he has a future in politics! My brother-in-law knew him as a lieutenant at LAPD. He said he liked him at the time. Probably likes him even better now that his views have "evolved very quickly."

Posted by: johngalt at January 7, 2014 3:58 PM

December 29, 2013

Review Corner

All the issues are simply the battles of the day in a much larger struggle. What is ultimately at stake is the same question that precipitated the American Revolution: whether the American people are the sovereigns in their own country or whether they should be ruled from above, for their own good, according to the supposedly benevolent commands of the elitist rulers of a top-down, European-style society.
Searching the magical Kindle Store for last week's selection, I saw that David Kopel had a Broadsides book out: The Truth About Gun Control.

Around these parts, he has been associated with Health Care because of his Constitutional opposition to ObamaCare. He spoke at LOTR--Flatirons on NFIB v. Sebelius and played important roles as documented last week. But Kopel is best known for his scholarship on guns and gun rights.

And "Truth" is the principled and well reasoned stance one would expect from Kopel. He ties gun rights to both history and philosophy, always drawing a bigger and more vivid picture than the shorter-sighted confiscators.

The right and duty of self-defense applied to a householder protecting her children and to militiamen protecting their communities from foreign enemies or from tyranny. Self-defense was a seamless web; the difference between self-defense against a criminal invader in the home, against a gang of highway robbers, or against a criminal tyrant with his standing army was only one of scale. The tyrant's gang was just bigger than the other ones.
Second Amendment guarantees that all persons can possess arms, no person in the United States, therefore, can be a slave. "The right of a man 'to keep and bear arms,' is a right palpably inconsistent with the idea of his being a slave," [Lysander] Spooner wrote.

Kopel is a regular panelist on "Colorado Inside Out" Friday night on PBS Channel 12 right before Independence Institute colleague's Jon Caldera's "Devil's Advocate." The panelists -- respectful but never on the same page as Kopel -- bow to his superior knowledge of history. Last week Eric Soderman said "I'd expect David to know the Louisiana Governor 100 years ago," when Kopel alone on the panel came up with Kathleen Blanco as the governor during Katrina.

The ties to history are the magic of this work. There is a bit on stats and crime. But the historical use of guns against British occupation, genocide, and Jim Crow is well documented --as are the historical roots of the NRA

National alcohol prohibition, enacted in 1920, spurred national violence, which resulted in the conservative Eastern business establishment -- along with some religious pacifists -- demanding handgun prohibition. In their view, the solution to the failure of alcohol prohibition was more prohibition.

The handgun-prohibition campaign of the 1920s drew the National Rifle Association into the political arena, where it has remained ever since.The NRA had been founded by Union Army officers in 1871 to promote citizen marksmanship and civic virtue. Among its early presidents were Ulysses S. Grant (former president of the United States) and (“ the hero of Gettysburg” and the 1880 Democratic presidential nominee).

In the 1920s, as today, the NRA’s main political strength was its ability to mobilize its ever growing membership to contact government officials and express opposition to constricting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

[If you read nothing else today, follow that link and read about Winfield Scott Hancock.]

Kopel slices the gun rights crowd from their opposition more precisely than most. It is not so cleanly left-right:

The great Democratic Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey embodied liberalism's optimistic faith in the federal government and the federal Constitution. He believed that "one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of citizens to keep and bear arms. ... The right of citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against the tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible."

You can rightly say that HHH was an "old liberal" or "old Democrat" and that that species is extinct. But I'm always troubled by my eastern-elitist peeps like Larry Kudlow or the WSJ Ed Page staff, NR, Weekly Standard, &c. who don't really get it. They should read Kopel:
While some nations consider law to be the vehicle of the state, the American tradition views the law as the servant of the people. As a federal district court put it, "the people, not the government, possess the sovereignty" (Mandel v. Mitchell, 1971).

Four stars -- five if it were longer...

Posted by John Kranz at 11:31 AM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2013

Belt Only - Suspenders Not Required.

In the present formulation I equate "suspenders" with laws restricting gun ownership in an "all of the above" school safety and security program.

Colorado's contentious new gun restriction laws were promoted as necessary to prevent tragedies like the Newtown school shooting. Gun rights advocates said the laws would be worthless for that purpose, and that the best way to stop school shooters was to put an armed officer in the school.

What stopped the terrifying incident from turning into a full-blown massacre was the rapid response of law enforcement, particularly the sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school, said Hickenlooper.

That's John Hickenlooper. Governor. Colorado. Democrat. Standing corrected.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2013

Colorado School Shooting Silent Treatment

You, as have I, may be wondering why you haven't seen more news and opinion about the Colorado school shooting at Arapahoe High School last week. Maybe it's because only the shooter was killed? Unlikely. More likely it's because, as John Hayward at Human Events blog writes, "There is absolutely nothing in the Arapahoe High School shooting for gun control zealots to work with."

On the contrary, the incident demolishes some of their cherished beliefs, most obviously their talismanic faith in the power of regulations to suppress this type of violence. Given his political activism, it seems likely that Karl Pierson was well aware of the local gun laws, but those laws did not dissuade him from going on a rampage. According to CNN, what ended his rampage in just 80 seconds, preventing him from dealing far more injury and death, was one of the measures strongly endorsed by the National Rifle Association: an armed adult on school grounds.

Many more interesting tidbits in the linked article, like the killer's political beliefs, desire to attend the Air Force Academy, opinions about Republicans, etc.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:38 PM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Is that a meme? It oughtta be. This Thursday, I am thankful for the misguided focus of my intellectual adversaries' energy:


Click "Like" to demand an increase in the speed of light! "Like" the King Canute page to keep the tides away!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:55 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Click "like" to ban wind power forever!

Posted by: johngalt at December 11, 2013 3:52 PM

November 27, 2013

Give Thanks!

Even if you do not live in Colorado, be thankful that Evie Hudak has resigned!

The rape survivors who testified against a bill that would ban concealed carry on college campuses and who were disrespected by Hudak in the process reacted to the news that Hudak had resigned:

"I am pleased that the people of Senate District 19 put enough pressure on Senator Hudak to cause her to resign her Senate seat. Her treatment of me and other women in March demonstrated Senator Hudak's belief that she knows better than the women of Colorado how they should best defend themselves. My sincere hope is that the Democrats consider, in their replacement choice, that the women of Colorado can make self-defense decisions on their own." -- Amanda Collins

"At Women for Concealed Carry, we are happy to hear of Senator Hudak's resignation. Although she says her votes on gun control bills make women safer, the facts do not support that. We told her that these bills would make us less safe. She refused to listen to us during testimony, but today’s resignation indicates her constituents expect their representative to listen. Colorado deserves better.

" -- Kim Weeks

The S&P 500 Closed over 1800 for the holiday.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:42 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:
Hudak’s resignation is the ultimate sign of weakness in the face of a massive voter backlash over the Bloomberg-backed gun control bills pushed through the Legislature this year. Rather than defend her votes before the people, she chose to employ a loophole that would allow her party to retain the seat.

The deadline for petition signatures to force her recall election was this Wednesday. I was following this closely and there was some doubt they would collect enough. Evie's party was not, it seems, willing to risk either her defeat or even the certification of a sufficient number of petition signatures. This is a full reversal from their strategy in the two previous recalls, which they took so lightly they did not even name an alternative candidate for voters to consider were the incumbent to be recalled.

If these three recall efforts do not convince politicians that public hearings are for politicians to actually LISTEN to constituents and legislate FOR the people instead of OVER them, I don't know that anything will.

For their part I'm afraid the Democrats merely consider the recall to be another political cudgel. A number of Republican state reps in very safe districts have been the targets of telephone push polling to ask if respondents would vote for a recall, before and after the reading of several horribly misleading position statements about the office holder. I received one myself. After giving my no answers I adjusted my identity from a 50-65 male to an 18-35 female. (Hey, if they can mislead ME...)

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2013 9:28 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Hey, is there any truth to the rumor that Evie plans to rehabilitate her image by applying for work as a rape crisis counselor?

Posted by: johngalt at November 29, 2013 9:31 AM
But Jk thinks:

You l-l-l-lied?

Many are disappointed that there will be no election, but I remain happy that a clear message was sent to not mess with gun rights.

Posted by: Jk at November 29, 2013 3:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

They misled me, I misled them. Fair trade in my book.

Posted by: johngalt at December 1, 2013 1:32 AM

September 18, 2013

Lean Forward

Angela Giron -- ex of the Colorado Legislature -- gets it wrong on MSNBC:

Posted by John Kranz at 6:57 PM | Comments (0)

Quote of the Day

After each shooting, we hear pundits and columnists declare, "it's time for a national conversation on guns." But we actually have had national conversations on guns after each one of these awful events; the conversation usually ends with lawmakers rejecting new restrictions on gun ownership. The pundits and columnists pretend the national conversation hasn't occurred because they keep losing the argument. -- Jim Geraghty
Part of a long and thoughtful response to an NPR correspondent who made an honest inquiry to understand the other side. I can't link, but you oughtta [Subscribe].
Posted by John Kranz at 2:35 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2013

Don't Tread on Us

"I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids -- She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. -- She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. -- As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal: -- Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her. -- Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?" -American Guesser, aka Benjamin Franklin December, 1775
Posted by JohnGalt at 4:39 PM | Comments (0)

Ready, Aim, Fired!

Like Jim Geraghty, I went to bed last night (before my blog brother it appears) thinking the recall elections had been split. I saw Morse's grouchy concession speech, but the attempted fraud vote counting in Pueblo was slow and the CW was that the heavily-D district would not out Giron.

If I may quote Geraghty: "Nope,"

Charles Cooke:

None of it worked. This was the recall that was never supposed to happen -- let alone be successful. The nine men who set the ball rolling weren't supposed to be capable of organizing a town hall, let alone taking down the state-senate president. And yet they did it. Victor Head, a 29-year-old plumber who had never been politically active, took down a senator in a district that went Democratic in 2012 by ten points; a group of six concerned men from the AR15.com chat room removed the state's top-ranking legislator. "We are a quiet people," recall founder Tim Knight told his victorious friends when the results became known at the Stargazers Theater. "You may be tempted to ignore us. Clearly, that would be a mistake."

Perhaps Dave Kopel said it best:

UPDATE: Too good not to embed!

UPDATE II: Speaking of Glenn Reynolds. I'll give him quote of the day after linking to this same article:

The message the defeat of Morse and Giron sends to legislators all across the country is unmistakable: If you are thinking about pushing for new gun-control laws, you could face swift consequences.

Well, when you try to deny people’s civil rights, there should be swift consequences.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:35 AM | Comments (13)
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Wonderful news! I guess this means I can remove the charges that would blow up my wells...

It was unclear from the maps I perused whether Morse represented the late Robert Heinlein's former Colorado Springs home--I think the line missed it by a whisker. Still, given his love of shooting, the Second Amendment and a good political fight let's make him an honorary District 11 constituent. Democrats shouldn't be the only ones who get the dead person vote!

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 11, 2013 8:55 PM
But jk thinks:

Don't know if you have seen the exploits of Jon Caldera, ey, but a side note of this whole venture was a new same-day-voter-fraud-I-mean-registration law that allows any 22 day Colorado resident to cast a ballot if they have "intent" to reside at the address they use (Caldera registered and submitted a blank ballot).

This was supposed to take effect in the 2014 General election, but was curiously accelerated by -- what was that guy's name again -- oh, yeah: John Morse!

Ergo: district-schmistrict, in Colorado we vote wherever we want! RAH could have done whatever pleased.

Posted by: jk at September 12, 2013 1:13 PM
But dagny thinks:

Heinlein was, I believe, a staunch Democrat. He'd probably have voted for Morse.

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:33 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Dagny--he was only a staunch Democrat for about the half of his life before he moved to Colorado. And he was always very pro-liberty and RTKABA. A lot like Reagan, and over similar time periods, he left the Democrats shortly after the Democrats left him.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at September 12, 2013 1:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I suspect he was more of a Zell Miller democrat. Today's are not our father's democrats.

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2013 12:31 PM
But jk thinks:

And yet sister dagny is correct to caution on appropriating historical figures for our own use.

Posted by: jk at September 13, 2013 1:30 PM

Headline of the Day


A perfect headline by Colorado's Complete Colorado linking to this Colorado Peak Politics article:

In a historic recall election Senate President John Morse was booted from office, capping the end of a long and passionate fight over gun rights in Colorado. It marks a wake-up call for Colorado Democrats, who are suddenly coming to the realization that they're not invincible after all.

In a legislative session this spring dubbed "one of the most liberal ever" by the Durango Herald's Joe Hanel, Democrats sprinted to the left on gun control, and virtually every other policy in the left-wing agenda.

The Morse recall results are a swift kick in their proverbial nuts. A reminder to legislators that getting elected office doesn't give you a free pass to do whatever your progressive paymasters demand of you.

A hearty congratulations to my compatriots to the south. It wasn't my fight but I cheered loudly and rooted you on.

Oh and by the way, the headline says "total" recall, alluding to the other senator facing a no-confidence vote, Pueblo Democrat Angela Giron. She's toast too, by a 20-point margin.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:17 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

One very popular symbol of the TEA Party and the liberty movement in general is the Gadsden flag, recognizable for its "Don't Tread On Me" motto. It bears the likeness of a rattlesnake.

During hearings in the most recent Colorado legislative session, those of us who endorse that banner gave the legislative majority "the rattle." Yesterday we gave it "the fangs."

Posted by: johngalt at September 11, 2013 4:27 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"Total Recall?"

As long as we're going to use Schwarzenegger references, should we respond with "Hasta la vista, baby" or "you're terminated"?

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 11, 2013 8:34 PM
But dagny thinks:

Anything but, "I'll be back."

Posted by: dagny at September 12, 2013 1:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Ladies and gentlemen, please walk away from the keyboards. Dagny's comeback is today's Winner of the Internet.

I will credit the source when I use that one myself.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at September 13, 2013 1:05 AM

July 22, 2013

Libertario Delenda Est

Tid bit du jour, courtesy of Jim Geraghty:

Second Amendment advocates aim to replace Democratic senators John Morse of Colorado Springs and Angela Giron of Pueblo. (They also tried to recall Senator Evie Hudak of Westminster and Representative Mike McLachlan of Durango, but failed to collect enough signatures.) Back in 2010, Morse won, 48.1 percent to 47.2 percent, with about 250 votes separating him from his opponent (and Libertarian Douglas Randall collected 1,258 votes).

If the Libertarians had any sense (hahahaha I do crack myself up sometimes), they would fold the party, stop running candidates, and become a powerful interest group along the lines of the NRA. They could direct large amounts of money to the best liberty candidates in both parties and publicize lesser known but philosophically kindred candidates in primaries.

Instead they act as spoiler to elect Jon Tester in Montana, the 60th vote for ObamaCare® and Rep Morse in Colorado, a majority voice for gun confiscation. Way to go.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2013

Taking guns away - from the Leftists

Responding to President Obama's attorney general using the legally just ruling in The Florida Case as another excuse to take guns from law abiding citizens, Jeffrey T. Brown tells us to 'Stand Your Ground' Against the Left.

To Holder and the president, the isolated events involving Trayvon Martin, which have not been publicly replicated anywhere else in America on any regular or reported basis, serve as yet another excuse to launch sweeping radical attacks on the rights of all Americans. They loathe the ability of citizens to protect themselves against the left's predators, whether social or political.

There's an angle I hadn't given enough thought. It's commonly understood that welfare statists deplore citizens who can protect themselves against government, but don't the same voices tell us that criminals are the "real victims" and deserve our "understanding?" The latest Rolling Stone cover fits in that niche. If so, the fight to protect individual gun rights is both political and social.

Segue to a post-Newtown story about mass murders, also from American Thinker, which claims Psychiatric Community Not Stepping Up. I touched on this aspect of the Newtown case when I cited widespead use of anti-depressants like Ritalin ("Ritalin is not just like methamphetamine, Ritalin is methamphetamine.") in the comments here. Author Bernie Reeves is more specific, laying blame at the feet of those social professionals whose reason for being is to detect and treat the mentally ill - psychiatrists.

It is now time to remove guns from the top position in media coverage and implore the psychiatric community to coalesce and present a formula to identify and deal with potentially psychotic patients. As it stands now, the only method to remove dangerous patients is to have them arrested, which requires a process often too difficult and wrenching to contemplate.

The Sandy Hook shootings have affected parents more deeply than any of the dozens of previous massacres since the 1980s. Discussing the event with young children is difficult, and creates anxiety that saying the wrong thing could be permanently damaging. It is indeed a national trauma that requires national therapy. There is a gnawing helplessness that 'there is nothing we can do'.

Yet there is, but the professionals who can construct a solution are the ones who abandoned their duty, leaving 20 little children and six adults dead. You would think they would step up.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:41 PM | Comments (0)

July 10, 2013

A Win!

The Independence Institute:

Today the Independence Institute's federal civil rights lawsuit achieved its first major success, eliminating the problems that were caused by two vague phrases in House Bill 1224, the magazine ban.

The Independence Institute's David Kopel is representing 55 elected Sheriffs and one retired police officer in lawsuit against the new anti-gun laws signed by Governor Hickenlooper last March.

Tuesday night, on the eve of a federal court hearing, the plaintiffs and the Colorado Attorney General agreed on proposal to fix two problems the magazine ban.

Two completely foolish provisions of the bill were fixed: the "readily convertible" clips and "continuous possession."

Better. Better. Part of me likes the stupidity of those provisions because they highlight the lack of thought and foresight that went onto this legislation. But a win is a win. The lawsuit now proceeds to whether these laws pass Heller and McDonald.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:32 PM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2013

Beat to the Punch!

Independence Institute

Posted by John Kranz at 5:35 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2013 6:31 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Related: From Larimer County CO Sheriff Justin Smith on Facebook.

*The CBI advises local law enforcement to ignore and violate new Colorado gun laws*

The salacious details are at the link.

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2013 6:34 PM

Otequay of the Ayday

Rapists don’t disarm women, lawmakers disarm women. I work out five days a week. I studied krav maga. I can out-lift the majority of male hipsters. I can try to be as much like Lara Croft as I want to be but the bottom line is that nature has given me a different muscular structure, bone density, and stature. I will never be able to outfight the majority of men. Most women can’t take a solid punch from a man. This isn’t admitting a weakness, it’s admitting science. Weakness is when we try to deny science and refuse to give ourselves a fighting chance like the chance we have with firearms. A firearm is an equalizer for a woman. Your state legislator, Joe Salazar, told women that we were too stupid to carry firearms because we might “pop off at somebody.” His view was shared by his Democrat colleagues, as we later learned from remarks by the likes of Hudak, Rosenthal, and others. We believe in female empowerment in every aspect of life, apparently, but the power to buy our own birth control and carry a gun. These lawmakers are making sitting ducks out of the female sex and I’ve had enough. --Dana Loesch at the "Farewell to Arms" Freedom Rally near Denver yesterday
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

June 30, 2013

From My Cold Dead Hands, Governor!

Too early for the BBQ, but I did make it to Pri-Paired.


Please come join us for Midnight Magazine Madness.

Sunday, June 30th we will be staying open to sell magazines up through midnight.

The Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches will be flowing.

Make sure you put your name in at the hat for the magazine and ammo give away.

Be the last person to receive a mag, the give away mags will be handed out at 11:59.

There may be special guest.............come see!

Tell all your friends and family.

I bought two, 30-round, .223 magazines as a statement of liberty and for a gun I might buy someday. It is either the coolest or most pointless thing I have ever done; I am still deciding.

Open until Midnight!

Posted by John Kranz at 3:50 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Maybe I'll swing by on Monday and we'll tweet the governor pictures of us handing them back and forth to each other.

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2013 5:37 PM
But Jk thinks:

Yeah, if any of you need to borrow these, let me know.

Posted by: Jk at June 30, 2013 5:47 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I'm thinking we can work out a monthly lending program. I'll lend mine to someone else and borrow yours. Maybe Caldera wants to play too. Before we know it someone will be lending you some to replace yours!

Posted by: johngalt at June 30, 2013 7:15 PM
But jk thinks:

No, I've got it -- Hickenlooper Roulette!

You put five of your magazines and one of your buddy's in a cloth sack. You draw one out at random . . . you get the other guy's BOOM! You're a felon!!!

Posted by: jk at July 1, 2013 9:15 AM
But johngalt thinks:

I went for the big finale at midnight last night. Got a free mag! Someone asked, "Is Magpul going to start making smaller magazines? I hope they do. What else are Coloradoans going to do when they need magazines?"

"What we're going to do is change the law," said I.

Posted by: johngalt at July 1, 2013 2:19 PM

June 27, 2013

Gun Laws

The founder/proprietor of Pri-Paird.com is a Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons regular, ex-military, ex-cop, friend of freedom.

They're having a little do to ring out the last day of Second Amendment rights in Colorado:

Please come join us for Midnight Magazine Madness.

Sunday, June 30th we will be staying open to sell magazines up through midnight.

The Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches will be flowing.

Make sure you put your name in at the hat for the magazine and ammo give away.

Be the last person to receive a mag, the give away mags will be handed out at 11:59.

There may be special guest.............come see!

Tell all your friends and family.

I got to thinking . . . once we split off and instantiate "North Colorado," we will need some firearms regulations. I am thinking "no magazine under ten rounds allowed." If you have one manufactured and purchased before the law goes into effect, you may keep it as long as it stays "in your continuous possession." Sorry, but we take safety very seriously in NC.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:16 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome! Looks like fun. And I am a schlub for not even knowing about that place, right in my back yard. Thank you!

One request - Can we please set the minimum mag size at 7 for my 1911 pals?

Posted by: johngalt at June 27, 2013 4:02 PM
But jk thinks:

A .45 exemption may be in the works. I'll check with committee...

Posted by: jk at June 27, 2013 4:36 PM

May 7, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

"[United States Attorney General Eric] Holder's understanding of the United States Constitution is incorrect." -- Kansas Secretary of state Kris W. Kobach

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:03 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

If you don't mind it in an intemperate wrapper, ChicksOnTheRight.com has both letters in their post: Kansas To Eric Holder: "Jump Up And Bite Us, And Then Try Reading The Constitution, Whydontcha?"

Posted by: jk at May 7, 2013 3:36 PM
But jk thinks:

....and, um, that would be the same link my blog brother provided... carry on, itchy typing fingers...

Posted by: jk at May 7, 2013 3:51 PM

May 3, 2013

Campaigning for US Gun Control - Foreign Edition

Do guns in "the hands of criminals and dangerous people" in the United States lead to gun violence in Mexico? President Obama seems to think so:

"Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States," President Obama said during a speech at Mexico's Anthropology Museum. "I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will."

"But at the same time, as I’ve said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It’s the right thing to do," Obama added.

But the single greatest source of American guns in Mexico appears to be the U.S. Government. No, not via Fast and Furious, but via legal "direct commercial sales" authorized by the State Department.

Here's how it works: A foreign government fills out an application to buy weapons from private gun manufacturers in the U.S. Then the State Department decides whether to approve.

And it did approve 2,476 guns to be sold to Mexico in 2006. In 2009, that number was up nearly 10 times, to 18,709. The State Department has since stopped disclosing numbers of guns it approves, and wouldn't give CBS News figures for 2010 or 2011.

But the real outrage is Obama suggesting that the US Constitution has anything to do with Mexican gun "incompetence and corruption." The reason for this strawman is patently obvious.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:44 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2013

Got Your 90% Here

The big Anti-NRA march is mobilized! The groundswell -- demanding government solutions to gun violence -- is , well...

Participating organizations include Public Campaign, Occupy the NRA, CREDO, Every Child Matters, Moveon, United For Change, USA, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, The Other 98%, and We Act Radio.

As Buzzfeed's Evan McMorris-Santoro noted earlier this morning, the event featured the debut of a new anti-NRA poster created by Shepard Fairey -- the designer of the famous Obama 'Hope' poster.

A generous estimation of the crowd size would have been about 100 people, including members of the media.

One of the five "sad" pictures:


Posted by John Kranz at 10:38 AM | Comments (0)

April 24, 2013

Tooltip of the Day

Insty links to a poll: Less than half of Americans upset about Senate gun vote

But a new Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll suggests that post-vote attitudes stray from the wide support for the background check measure before the debate, which hovered around 85 percent in multiple polls.

A plurality of Americans -- 47 percent -- say they are either "angry" or "disappointed" with the Senate's action on gun legislation, far different from the amount of people who strongly approved the proposal before the vote. Meanwhile, 39 percent say they are "relieved" or "happy" about the vote.

Interesting, but I was captivated by the accompanying photo: a big bucket of guns. No doubt it disturbs those who are unnerved by seeing guns, but it probably disturbs gun lovers more by their maltreatment.

But what instituted a new category was the img title tag: if you hold your mouse over the photo of 100 guns, it says "Guns." I dig understatement in media.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:32 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The "everyone wants more gun control" poll language seems to have tested the favorability of legislation to "expand background checks" which is a lot like "make life fairer." Who wouldn't support that? The 10% of responses in the "NO" category had either read the actual bill being discussed or are insufferable curmudgeons. A poll showing 47% (there's that number again) being "angry or disappointed" that the Senate didn't vote to "make life fairer" is more damning of that 47% than of congress.

Posted by: johngalt at April 24, 2013 3:21 PM

April 19, 2013

All Hail Taranto!

Not even for a joke this time. Hail James for a serious look at the 90% [Heart] Background-checks versus the failure of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment:

Take the "1%." This refers not to an identifiable group of people but to a statistical artifact: the 99th percentile of income distribution in any given year. Some people, like George Soros (long may he live), can assume they have a permanent place in the 1%. Others fall in briefly because of a sudden windfall or the one-time sale of an asset. Simple probability dictates that most people will be in the 98th percentile or below their whole lives, but that isn't part of their identity. Not everyone resents great wealth; many admire or aspire to it. And even those who identify as "the 99%" have an ideological kinship with superrich lefties like Soros.

"The 90%" who supposedly support gun background checks is an even more evanescent construct--the result of a poll, which presumably questioned a few hundred randomly called people, few of whom likely had thought deeply about the subject. And while there are certainly Americans who define their identity in part by their aversion to guns, many others define it by their affinity for them. We'd guess that overall the latter outnumber the former, and we're fairly certain the latter tend to be more intense with respect to this aspect of their identity.

The senators who voted down the gun-control measures did so on the basis of a deeper understanding of the constituents they represent than can be conveyed by a single number from an opinion poll. They're professional politicians, and they managed to get elected, in most cases from states Barack Obama never managed to carry. If they misjudged popular opinion, they can be voted out of office. It's an example of representative democracy at its best.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:55 PM | Comments (0)

April 18, 2013

Tweet of the Day


Posted by John Kranz at 10:46 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:


Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2013 11:52 AM

April 17, 2013

Bipartisan Defeat

Didn't they listen to the President?

The Senate delivered a devastating blow to President Obama's agenda to regulate guns Wednesday by defeating a bipartisan proposal to expand background checks.

It failed by a vote of 54 to 46, with five Democrats voting against it. Only 4 Republicans supported it.

Democratic Sens. Mark Pryor (Ark.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mark Begich (Alaska) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) voted against it. Reid supported the measure but voted against it to preserve his ability to bring the measure up again.

GOP Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Mark Kirk (Ill.) voted yes.

Pardon the flippancy, but this is a win.

UPDATE: Changed inappropriate headline

Posted by John Kranz at 5:17 PM | Comments (0)

April 16, 2013

A Threat

Good news -- looks like the Manchin-Toomey bill does not have the votes. David Lawder and John Whitesides

"We haven't voted on it because supporters don't have the votes to pass it," said Republican Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, an opponent of the proposal, who argued that it would not have stopped the massacre of 20 school children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, in December, or other mass shootings.

a) Can I give a rare ThreeSources "Yaay Chuck Grassley!"

b) I enjoyed this paragraph, presented un-ironically in the Reuters-Yahoo piece:

The NRA has warned lawmakers it will include their vote in the ratings it compiles on them and sends to its 4 million members. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a gun-control group backed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has also said it will rate members of Congress based on their votes.

We've agonized at the NRA's endorsement of Leader Reid and other Democrats. But the NRA retains a powerful tool in rating Red-State Democrats. It's a big deal for an incumbent in Arkansas or North Dakota to get or not get a favorable NRA rating.

I'm amused because I cannot believe that is true for anyone anywhere with "Mayors Against Illegal Guns." Senator Feinstein is not going to not get that endorsement, nor would she be imperiled without. Mutatis Mutandis for Sen. Barrasso in Wyoming.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:06 PM | Comments (7)
But johngalt thinks:

Does the title apply to MAIG?

Posted by: johngalt at April 16, 2013 5:23 PM
But jk thinks:

I am hoping that that is the reason the filibuster fizzled -- to force the Ds into a tough vote instead of railing against intransigent Rs. Are we that smart? Hard to believe, but it was laid out on the WSJ Ed Page (they could have staff read it to them slowly...)

Posted by: jk at April 16, 2013 7:26 PM
But johngalt thinks:

UPDATE "If this happens, they'll blame the NRA, but the truth will be they coudn't sell the bill to roughly 10% of their own membership.

Posted by: johngalt at April 17, 2013 11:49 AM
But AndyN thinks:

Does anybody know enough about the NRAs scoring to know whether they just look at the vote? If Reid voted against this crap sandwich, is that an unqualified plus with the NRA, or do they look at his reason for voting against it (so that he can bring the bill back up in the future) and lower his grade for reserving the right to try to hose us in the future?

Posted by: AndyN at April 17, 2013 7:36 PM
But jk thinks:

Awesome question, AndyN. There are so many parlimentary concerns and competing issues, it seems you'd need a PhD in Game Theory and a few Crays to get it right -- one suspects it's an Excel spreadsheet on a 386.

Posted by: jk at April 17, 2013 7:56 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Just as interesting is the fact that there were 59 'yes' votes when the whips were at work but when it was clear the bill would fail, four others joined Reid in switching their votes. Gotta love those who stand, unwaveringly, for their principles!

Posted by: johngalt at April 18, 2013 11:58 AM

April 15, 2013

Quote of the Day

This illustrates the left's problem on guns. It can only succeed in advancing their agenda on guns so long as the bloody shirt of Newtown is being waved. When the tears subside and we catch our collective breath, allowing us to look clearly at what the president has proposed, what more and more Americans are seeing is that proposals about so-called assault weapons and ammunition magazines would do little or nothing to lower the volume of gun violence, let alone avoid another Newtown.

The point about the exploitation of the families of the victims in the gun debate is not that there is anything wrong about their statements, even if they were to inject themselves in an even more direct manner in the controversy. Rather, it is that ours is a system of laws not individuals or sentiment. The checks and balances inherent in the system serve to slow down the pace of legislation, which is something that, as Dowd writes, frustrates the Newtown families. But the genius of our constitutional system is that it is designed specifically to mute the voice of the crowd, especially when it is driven by by emotion such as that which liberals and the Newtown families are seeking to harness. -- Jonathan Tobin (HT: Jim Geraghty)

Posted by John Kranz at 10:50 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

If yet more laws infringing private arms ownership and use could bring tragedy victims back to life there would be a reason to consider their enactment. Alas, they cannot do that, nor even protect new tragedy victims in the future. What can do so, however, is armed good guys - and advertising that fact to the cowards who perpetrate these horrors. [A few words from the "obvious truths of life" department.]

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2013 12:43 PM
But jk thinks:

My Facebook thread that failed so miserably last week was on this topic. After a handful of rational and even-tempered volleys establishing that at least one NRA member does not enjoy dead children, my suggestion that "good guys with guns" is the answer to "bad guys with guns" was considered so outside the bounds of thought as to terminate the conversation.

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2013 12:51 PM
But jk thinks:

Jacob Sullum's post on the same topic uses less reasoned tones and vied for QOTD honors.

Contrary to Obama's implication, the question is not whether preventing the murder of children is desirable but whether the policies he supports would do that. Instead of explaining, for example, how background checks can thwart mass killers, who typically do not have disqualifying criminal or psychiatric records and who in any event can use guns purchased by someone else (as Lanza did), Obama simply assumes his plan will work and insinuates that anyone who opposes it does not care about children as much as he does.

Even as he claims to be troubled by a lack of empathy in the gun control debate, Obama refuses to entertain the possibility that his opponents, like him, are doing what they believe to be right. On Monday he described them as "powerful interests that are very good at confusing the subject, that are good at amplifying conflict and extremes, that are good at drowning out rational debate, good at ginning up irrational fears."

Posted by: jk at April 15, 2013 12:55 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I read that last quote somewhere too. Rich! I wonder if the president practiced that line while looking in a mirror.

We should also consider whether your FB friends are right, and we are wrong. Perhaps it's the blue shirt and shiny badge that disarms criminals? But then, if those are so powerful they'll want background checks for them too.

Posted by: johngalt at April 15, 2013 2:57 PM

April 10, 2013

Too Much Fun!

Rob Natelson, enjoys himself a little too much, making a point:

Posted by John Kranz at 6:23 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Point well made. Now let's try to poke holes in it: "But nobody can effortlessly kill dozens of people, in the time it takes for police to arrive, with a sex act, or a knife, or a hammer." The ease with which murderous infamy can be had makes high capacity firarms an all too vulnerable target for statist demagogues.

Posted by: johngalt at April 11, 2013 11:59 AM
But jk thinks:

Methinks you impute too much reason upon your intellectual adversaries.

Like Jon Caldera, I came into the fold late in life. I had never fired a gun before I was 40-something. My first visits to the gun department of the local sporting goods store are still vivid; it took me quite a while to be comfortable around firearms.

This might be one of my few relevant personal anecdotes. I don't know completely how the other side feels about GMO crops, or the DH, or fluoridated water -- after my joke yesterday, I saw a serious-as-a-heart-attack anti fluoridated water post of Facebook.

But I think I do know the "how can anybody want these around anywhere?" crowd. I was astonished every time I went to the store or range that the other patrons were not extras for "The Wonderful Whites of West Virginia."

It's cultural -- for which Natelson's allegory is all the more valid.

But my favorite part is how the serious Constitutional scholar (he did a SUPERB LOTR-F talk on Sibelius v NFIB) stumbles over the gag lines. I think Jon Stewart's position is safe; though if Natelson had a show, I'd watch every night.

Posted by: jk at April 11, 2013 12:30 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Three Sources Poll: To whom should the following Tweet be sent-

Men, not women, commit mass shootings. So why not "men control?"

Posted by: johngalt at April 11, 2013 3:43 PM
But AndyN thinks:

Men, not women, commit mass shootings. So why not "men control?"

I'd argue that the explosive growth in diagnoses of ADD and ADHD are an attempt at exactly that.

Posted by: AndyN at April 11, 2013 7:38 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Ex-actly right.

Posted by: johngalt at April 11, 2013 7:51 PM

April 9, 2013

Police Poll on Gun Laws

WOW! The President loves to get officers to serve as blue serge wallpaper for his expensive photo-ops gun control conferences. And I confess that I have encountered (in print) many municipal officers who favor firearms laws which I do not.

But PoliceOne.com did a study, and [Spoiler Alert!] I think the results would make a similar study of NRA members look moderate and casual.

In March, PoliceOne conducted the most comprehensive survey ever of American law enforcement officers’ opinions on the topic gripping the nation's attention in recent weeks: gun control.

More than 15,000 verified law enforcement professionals took part in the survey, which aimed to bring together the thoughts and opinions of the only professional group devoted to limiting and defeating gun violence as part of their sworn responsibility.

Gotta click through this one. Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 12:37 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Aw shucks, I thought you were going to HT my FB post!

Posted by: johngalt at April 9, 2013 1:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Let the record show that brother jg beat me by 20 hours:

Coloradoans were told by their legislature that police chiefs support new laws that make it harder for private citizens to own and carry guns. The survey below shows that rank-and-file officers, overwhelmingly, oppose them.

I saw your energy posts but missed this. My feed fills up awfully quickly with cute kittens and puns.

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2013 2:17 PM
But jk thinks:

But we both beat Reason! (Damn hippie Libertarians...)

Posted by: jk at April 9, 2013 2:19 PM

April 8, 2013


ThreeSources poll: is the NRA completely batshit crazy?

I made sure my membership was up to date recently. Our rights are under assault and I wanted to support the most effective lobbying organization to protect them. Unsolicitedly, I even got a hat:

NRA_hat.JPG UPDATE III: Clearly, if I ever do anything anti-social, this photo will be worth a lot of money. Best to download a copy just in case -- The Weekly World News will pay big $$$. Just right-click and choose "Save as..."

All well and good. But this idea of armed guards in every school, expounded ably on FOX News Sunday by male Clinton Impeacher Asa Hutchison (Prude - AK) is bad on every level I've observed, and I have missed a few.

@jbarro: NRA not coming under nearly enough criticism on right for proposing huge untested new federal program for school safety.”

It is outside of the NRA's purview to "protect our children;" they exist to protect our children's rights. As Josh Barro points out it is a massive expansion of government. And, as Chris Wallace poked holes in 14 seconds, does nothing for gun violence anywhere else.

I'd add that it damages the NRA position: the only way we can protect ourselves from wacko mass-murderers is to put paid professional, armed guards everywhere people gather????

Um, how about we allow law abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families -- thereby raising the opportunity costs for said whackos? I understand that -- aside for the shooting where Rep. Gabby Giffords (D AZ) was wounded -- every shooting of three or more has occurred where firearms are banned. This is the heart, mind, and soul of the NRA position and it is disturbing to see them abandon it for an ill-conceived and anti-liberty gimmick.

I ain't wearing the hat until this is cleared up.

UPDATE: That stat I quoted:


UPDATE II: The NRA School Sheild Task Force

Posted by John Kranz at 1:07 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I hadn't read the details but understood it to generally advocate for concealed carry in schools. If it's as you say then I blame Harry Reid, or whatever influence in the NRA compelled them to endorse that Alpha-Hotel. Other than LaPierre's quote, "The thing that can stop a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun" I haven't seen much to like from the NRA.

Back to that Reid endorsement. How much good has it done for defense of 2nd Amendment rights that the NRA single handedly re-elected him? This very day he stood on the bodies of murdered children to advocate taking away privately owned guns. What would Sharron Angle be saying?

Posted by: johngalt at April 8, 2013 3:43 PM
But jk thinks:

Guns in schools? You some kind of crazy person? There are children in there!!!

Were they pushing concealed carry I would send them a big check. I added a link to the site in UPDATE II: watch as much as you can bear. One of the recommendations includes carry providing they have a school resource officer and have completed additional training programs. All after badges and fences and proper sign in procedures.

Together, the eight recommendations are a dog's dinner of bureaucracy and gobbledygook: mental health, bullying, innovation grants, Federal training, I believe that children are our future...

Posted by: jk at April 8, 2013 4:37 PM

April 5, 2013

A Handy List of Felony Gun Charges

Should Sen. Chuck Schumer (Evil Incarnate - NY)'s "Fix Gun Checks Act," bill become law, there is a long list of normal and ethical behavior that will become felonious (not to be confused with "Thelonous")

[C]onsider a woman who buys a rifle when she is 25 years old. She keeps the rifle her entire life. Yet over her lifetime, she -- like most gun owners -- engages in dozens of firearms "transfers." She brings the unloaded rifle to a friend's house, for instance, because the friend is thinking of buying a gun and wants to learn more about guns. The friend handles the rifle for a few minutes before handing it back. Another time, the woman lends the gun to her niece, who takes it on a camping trip for the weekend.

While the woman is out of town on a business trip for two weeks, she gives the gun to her husband or her sister. If the woman lives on a farm, she allows all her relatives to take the rifle into the fields for pest and predator control -- and sometimes, when friends are visiting, she takes them to a safe place on the farm where they spend an hour or two target shooting, passing her gun back and forth. At other times, she and her friends go target shooting in open spaces of land owned by the National Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.

Or perhaps the woman is in a same-sex civil union, and she allows her partner to take her gun to a target range one afternoon. Another time, she allows her cousin to borrow the gun for an afternoon of target shooting. If the woman is in the Army Reserve and she is called up for an overseas deployment, she gives the gun to her sister for temporary safekeeping.

One time, she learns that her neighbor is being threatened by an abusive ex-boyfriend, and she lets this woman borrow a gun for several days until she can buy her own gun. And if the woman becomes a firearms-safety instructor, she regularly teaches classes at office parks, in school buildings at nights and on weekends, at gun stores, and so on.

Not sure any of these consequences are unintended or not. It strikes me reading this list that most all of those items are completely outside the experience of the non-gun crowd. Shooting on a farm? Lending somebody a rifle? Camping? Join the National Guard? Firearms safety course?

Other than camping, that is put on all your L.L. Bean clothes on and drive the Subaru to the campground with a $30 bottle of Pinot, I don't think those activities are in the aegis of the average voter. Yet it does exacerbate a rural-urban split in the Democrat party.

UPDATE: I linked but failed to attribute: this is from "Turning Gun Owners into Felons" by Dave Kopel

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

This sounds like essentially identical language to the Colorado "background check" bill recently rammed into state law. Detractors were given a total of 90 minutes to speak out against it during legislative hearings. Not for each bill - for ALL SEVEN bills, combined, at the same time. But in that 90 minutes the bill was blasted so full of holes that an ingenuous sponsor would have withdrawn it. Now an identical bill appears in the US Senate. Sponsors There must also be disingenuous.

Posted by: johngalt at April 5, 2013 3:45 PM

March 20, 2013

Otequay of the Ayday

Colorado Republicans have developed a reputation -- largely earned -- for being the anti-gay, anti-immigration, anti-women party, and then Republicans stand around after getting their asses kicked, election after election, scratching their heads and wondering what happened.

Ari Armstrong, on why Republicans Bear Responsibility for Colorado's Anti-Gun Laws

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:42 PM | Comments (0)


Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California wants us to know that she is "not a sixth-grader."

Anyone who saw the recent exchange before the Senate Judiciary Committee between Feinstein and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas over guns and the Constitution might speculate that the reason she said this is because she couldn't pass the entrance exam. -- Ruben Navarrette Jr. SFGate
Posted by John Kranz at 3:15 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

It was a great exchange, and worth watching again.

Posted by: johngalt at March 20, 2013 3:25 PM

Why Did CO Governor About-Face on Guns?

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has artfully crafted an image as a reasonable, moderate, modern western politician - until now. Today he signed "landmark new gun laws" in the "traditionally firearm-friendly state" of Colorado. Why?

Colorado blogger Joshua Sharf explains that it is part of a national political strategy on the part of the Obama Administration:

It has been clear from the beginning that Obama plans to use gun control, not merely as a diversion from governing, but as a battering-ram issue to achieve his major 2nd-term objective: regaining the House of Representatives for the Democrats. To do that, he believes he must isolate the Republican House as being an obstruction to common-sense, practical gun control measures that most of the country agrees on. To do that, he must persuade enough Senate Democrats - especially Western Democrats - to back proposals that they really, really don't want to even vote on, much less support.

Colorado becomes the key to providing them cover. The proposals - poorly-written, full of absurd outcomes - will have to be portrayed as practical compromises. The debate on the national level will mirror the deceptive line taken here: confusing sales with temporary transfers, or even loans to friends; outlawing magazines of more than 15 rounds, but forgetting to mention that inheriting such a magazine from a deceased parent is a criminal act, a felony, even. Colorado's reputation as a western, freedom-loving state works in their favor.

So when Hickenlooper said, after the Aurora shooting, "Well, I mean I'm not sure there's any way in a free society, to be able to do that ..." it was a ploy to keep the gun debate out of the pending election.

This suited Hick just fine, since any suggestion that he was seriously looking at the sort of laws passed last week might have complicated the Dems' narrative about te Republican "War on Women" and civil unions.

But there is hope:

Ultimately, it makes the recalls of Sen. Hudak and Rep. McLachlan - along with whatever other vulnerable Dems can be included - even more important. Those recalls, like the recalls in Wisconsin, take on a national significance and urgency, not merely because of the issues involved, but because of the political implications at the national level. The promise of protection, of resources and money, to vulnerable Dems who backed him on this legislation, is the application of national resources to state races, just as the Blueprint was the application of state resources to local races. It is the Blueprint raised to a national scale. If Obama is able to implement that, then he will indeed have locked in substantial political changes that can change the society for the worse, for the long run.

On the other hand, if those promises can be shown to be empty - before the House of Representatives comes up for election, or has to vote on the national bills - then the entire narrative is turned on its head. Not only does Obama look like an unreliable friend, but the power of the issue dissipates. (That's one reason why an initiative is more useful in the event that we fail to take back both the legislature and the governor's mansion: only fiscal issues can be on the ballot in odd-numbered years.)

Hickenlooper, in 2012, specifically avoided charging voters up over this issue. Even in 2010, he didn't really mention it at all. Colorado has not had a vigorous debate on these bills or these issues. This was not something done by us. It was something done to us.

It's our move, Colorado.

UPDATE: This Denver Post story contemplates the Governor's political future:

Only a few months ago, Hickenlooper was mentioned as a potential 2016 presidential candidate. In poll after poll, his favorability ratings were higher than President Obama's and most governors.

But now Hickenlooper is attracting national attention as the Western governor backing gun control.

Asked whether the debate had hurt his image as a "quirky, lovable governor." Hickenlooper smiled.

"I'm still quirky," he said. "I'm not sure I was that lovable. And I am still relentlessly pro business."

Dear Governor - Magpul Industries, Alfred Manufacturing, other suppliers - they are BUSINESSES. With friends like you...

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

It's also going to be interesting in a state where many sheriffs and their deputies seem to be prepared to tell their governor, in no uncertain terms, to hike to hell on this issue.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 20, 2013 3:38 PM

March 19, 2013

How Dare He??? Well, Okay.

Please, jk. Can we ppppleeeeeaaaaseeee fire up the Internet Segue Machine®?

Why, sure! We start the day with this dreary business found by blog friend Terri at Ruminants. This is hard to watch. How. Dare. That. Little. Freshman. Senator. Turd. Question. The. Great. Feinstein?????

That about ruined my day until I saw this: Savor the Richly Deserved Defeat of Feinstein's "Assault Weapon" Ban

But this time around it was not enough to obscure the absurdity of Feinstein's attempt to distinguish between good and evil guns by reference to irrelevant features such as barrel shrouds and adjustable stocks. With no evidence or arguments to offer, Feinstein despicably invoked dead, "dismembered" children in a transparent bid to short-circuit logical thought.

As Jacob Sullum says "At the risk of reading too much into this delightful development, I count it as a victory not just for the Second Amendment but for rationality in lawmaking."

Posted by John Kranz at 5:19 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Rationality?" We should be so fortunate.
"Pragmatic?" You bet. The survival instinct takes over in Washington (but not, strangely, in Denver.) At least, not yet.

Posted by: johngalt at March 19, 2013 6:44 PM

March 15, 2013

Stan Kronke buys Outdoor Channel

In my prior post I linked to a Weekly Standard story entitled "Colorado Poll: Gun Control Politically Dangerous for Democrats." At least one thing is certain - this issue is bringing out the big GOP money to an extent I have not seen before. To wit: Kroenke Saves Outdoor Channel From Being Bought by Obama Advisor

Still unclear is whether Kroenke will become involved with the Outdoor Channel’s battle with Colorado Democrats. Executive producer Michael Bane said in a letter to state Sen. Steve King (R-Colorado Springs) that the channel had already cancelled a filming session scheduled for late March in reaction to the gun-control bills.

“The message we will take to our viewers and listeners is that these proposed laws are so dangerous to hunters and any other person, be she a fisherman or a skier who brings a handgun into the state for self-defense, that we cannot recommend hunting, fishing or visiting Colorado,” said Bane in the letter dated March 5.

“We reach millions of people, and quite frankly, we have a credibility that the Colorado government officials can no longer match,” he said.

So far the sale to Kroenke Sports & Entertainment hasn’t muted Bane’s views. He posted a message on his website Wednesday saying, “Urge Governor Hickenlooper to veto the mag ban!”

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:56 PM | Comments (0)

Colorado Sheriff would defy feds

The Sheriff of El Paso County, Colorado, Terry Maketa, told constituents yesterday that he would prevent gun confiscation in his jurisdiction if a "lawfully signed warrant" were not in play.

"I would step in the way if federal law enforcement was acting under some directive and seizing weapons without a lawfully signed warrant," he said, adding that he's not worried about that because he's received emails of support from federal law enforcement agencies.

"I think they would turn first, quit and join me before following something as ludicrous as that," he said.

This is welcome reassurance to the majority of Coloradoans who oppose big-city mayors' politically motivated gun control railroad job in the Democrat-controlled Colorado state government. Speaking of which,

"I don't have any plan to run for governor, for senate, for house," he said. "I say that knowing full well things can change."
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:32 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2013

Senator Cruz Strikes Again

I pumped my fist when he said, "And yet at the same time I would note that she chose not to answer the question that I asked."

Robert Laurie explains the "child porn" canard here:

It's a false premise, since the very act of creating underage porn represents a felony. This is not true of manufacturing or owning a gun. Firearms can be used for perfectly legal, ethical, reasons. No crime takes place until someone uses the weapon for a specific criminal purpose. There is no non-criminal purpose behind the manufacture or ownership of child porn, thus its illegality.
Posted by JohnGalt at 2:39 PM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Soon I expect him to declare that the IRS is a de facto violation the 13th Amendment. Tell me how it ain't!

Posted by: johngalt at March 14, 2013 3:33 PM
But jk thinks:

Surely, the 2200 books on our exemption list are enough -- who wants to read more than that?

Posted by: jk at March 14, 2013 4:28 PM

March 13, 2013

Politicians are not kings

One more of several great videos/radio spots from Colorado's Laura Carno, proprietor of I Am Created Equal dot com. This one looks like it was filmed outdoors and her lighter colored hair makes her look more ... friendly?

She also explains her new "political crush" on my fanboy fave Ted Cruz.

Posted by JohnGalt at 8:36 PM | Comments (0)

H.B. 1224 -- Worse than Advertised!

And the ads were pretty bad...

Posted by John Kranz at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

March 12, 2013

Colorado is America's Canary

Dear America,

If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government, just look at what is taking place in Colorado. Editorialist Anthony Martin suggests Colorado Democrats appear determined to start a civil war.

A state that was once friendly to gun rights has now become a hotbed of leftwing political activism that directly challenges citizen rights -- unless that citizen wishes to smoke pot legally.

This scenario only further enrages gun rights activists who view such things as the height of hypocrisy -- touting citizen rights to smoke pot while at the same time attacking citizen rights when it comes to guns.

If you want to read about the "civil war" part you'll have to click through. I'll not be accused of incitement.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:31 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

"If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government..."

Dude. Been there, done that, lived to tell the tale. http://is.gd/ASoCyG

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 12, 2013 5:37 PM
But johngalt thinks:

See how easily we fail to notice when the pot is warmed gradually? We just glibly refer to the "Californication" of our state without looking to see how much further Kalifornia is trying to go at the same time. I'll share this around in Colorado circles.

My caution was meant for those in swing districts who might choose to replace their Republican congressman with a Democrat in 2014 because some Republican somewhere "frightens" them.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 5:56 PM
But AndyN thinks:

If you care to see what happens when a single political party controls the executive and both houses of the legislative arms of government...
Were you worried that if you didn't appear balanced you'd offend someone? I believe that there are currently 24 states in which the GOP controls both the legislative and executive branches. Is there any evidence that those state governments are attempting to trample on the rights of their citizens?

The GOP has many problems, but this particular problem is specifically a Democratic party problem.

Posted by: AndyN at March 12, 2013 6:43 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good question! I love good questions.

I wasn't concerned about offending anyone, as yesterday's "On Legislation and Human Rights" post should illustrate, but I was seeking to illustrate a general principle rather than a partisan lament. Now I will try to defend it.

I am less affected by the anti-liberty of Republicans than that of Democrats but I do recognize it when I see it and, as a proponent of consistency in ones principles, oppose it. For example, Arkansas just overrode the veto of its Democrat governor to implement what some call the nation's most restrictive abortion ban. If one accepts the premise that a state prohibition on abortion tramples a right of the mother, namely to control her own bodily functions, then this is an example of Republicans doing exactly what I condemn Colorado Democrats for: A partisan infringment of individual liberties.

Posted by: johngalt at March 12, 2013 7:08 PM

March 11, 2013

On Legislation and Human Rights

I just left the following comment on Senator Giron's FB page after reading her (linked) blog entry, which states that she plans to vote yes on the five gun restriction bills in the Colorado senate today. I do hope that she reads it, and that she is willing to look into her heart and find a sense of consistency.

"For what little it may be worth, Senator Giron, I apologize for the classless behavior of some on the other side of this Constitutional issue from you. I can only guess that they feel powerless as a basic human right - the right to self defense - is being ever further questioned and eroded in the Colorado legislature. In these deeply contentious issues I, like Governor Hickenlooper, find it helpful to examine the issue from both sides. A good way to do that in this case is to imagine the reactions of you and your supporters if a Republican legislature and Republican governor were railroading seven (or even five) "common sense" abortion restriction bills. On the basis of Constitutional protections and the basic human rights of every individual, they would be just as wrong in doing so as the Democrats are in what they may choose to do today. Please reconsider whether the remainder of your legislative agenda is worth risking over this one issue that so many of your constituents will never forgive you for. Please tell the single-issue anti-gun lobbyists that you have more important things to do than to (politically) live or die on their hill. Please work to unite us around individual rights, not divide us along ideological lines."
Posted by JohnGalt at 12:17 PM | Comments (0)

March 8, 2013

That "Constitution" Thingy

"Can the governor call in question the right of a non-felon to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property?"

This is my starting formulation for a #StandWithRand type filibuster question, to be asked during Monday's third and final vote on numerous gun control bills in the Colorado legislature on Monday. Bills that quite clearly, I would argue, call this right into question.

HB1226- Calls into question the individual right to bear arms to defend one's person.
HB1229- Calls into question the individual right to keep arms.
SB197- Calls into question the right of a defendant to keep arms.
HB1228- Calls into question the individual right to keep arms.
HB1224- Calls into question the individual right to keep arms.
SB196- Calls into question the individual right to keep and to bear arms.

Those usurpations are not written into the bills of course, and their sponsors would certainly argue they do no such thing. That is a valid debate, and one which should transpire on the floor of Colorado's highest deliberative body, but until the governor answers in the affirmative the opening question, derived from Article 2, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution, any other discussion is moot.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:01 PM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Not up on www.i2i.org yet, but did you see Jon Caldera's interview with Governor Hick? Media and government were everything they should be for half an hour. Caldera doesn't go for gotchas -- but he asked tough questions about disarming the young rape victim and precluding his future estate's passing his Glock 17 to his daughter, and capricious enforcement if he goes to Wyoming to buy replacement magazines.

I'll post an embed when I see it, but they rerun those on Monday nights and if you have it on a DVR somewhere, it is well worth watching.

Posted by: jk at March 11, 2013 9:50 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, I did see it. Devil's Advocate is on DVR autopilot at our house. Jon promoed it on FB so I was eager to watch. Even though no gotcha questions, Hick stepped in it when he said he thought guns could be bought on the internet without a background check. Not NEW guns. All gun dealer internet sales must ship to buyers via a local FFL dealer, and be delivered in person like every gun store sale.

There was more than this though too. Like his suggestion that issues be examined from both sides, which I leveraged in a FB comment to Senator Angela Giron this morning.

Posted by: johngalt at March 11, 2013 12:17 PM

A Perennial Headline

And yet another Colorado Democrat says something stupid about guns

Posted by John Kranz at 3:49 PM | Comments (0)

March 6, 2013

CO Gov. Hickenlooper: Pro-gun demonstrators "a small minority"

Amid the controversy over disarming rape victims and outlawing the products of a large Colorado manufacturing company, our state's governor recently told a news reporter he doesn't think that signing these bills into law would cost him during a re-election bid.

For all of their fervor, Hickenlooper sees the demonstrators a small minority.

"Not only do they not represent the middle, I don't think they represent the Republican party. I don't think they represent a large number of people," Gov. Hickenlooper said.

The governor may be right, particularly since he says the bills are being watered down "to fix certain issues, like not having to run background checks on family members when giving them your gun." But even if the measures are "reasonable" the state legislators have sat through hours of testimony by witness after witness, both in favor and opposed to the laws, who say the laws would not reduce crime or accidents, nor even have prevented any particular incident. The only valid justification for passing these new laws was offered by state Senator Ted Harvey who said, "What we are trying to do here tonight is to protect students and teachers from feeling uncomfortable by you carrying a gun to protect yourself. Every witness that has come up here tonight has said they want to feel unintimidated and feel free to debate on a college campus, and having you have the right to defend yourself against a violent attacker weighs more for them than for you and the right to self-defense." Or, to paraphrase, your right to defend yourself is, in the opinion of the majority, junior to "students and teachers" right to "feel unintimidated."

Governor Hickenlooper was, he says, troubled by the prospect of losing gun accessory and magazine manufacturer Magpul Industries, Inc and its 200 local jobs, plus several suppliers. But in true pull-peddler fashion he said he intends to make up for any lost business to the company by "trying to win Magpul more government business through his Washington connections."


From the Magpul website:

Magpul's view on profits (and money in general) is summed up in the following quote by Ayn Rand (Francisco's Money Speech, Atlas Shrugged):

"Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value."

Good luck trying to buy them off with political favors, Mister Governor.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:50 PM | Comments (0)

March 5, 2013

From Outside of the Reservation

Some refer to the city of Denver as a "victim disarmament zone." My new term is Sheeple Reservation. The video below was made by a woman from El Paso County, Colorado, addressing the Rulers of the Reservation as they attempt to impose their beliefs on the rest of our great state. Laura Carno represents the principles we are teaching to our daughters.

Posted by JohnGalt at 6:54 PM | Comments (0)

On Being a Statistic

Don't know if this will get much play outside of Colorado.

I'm not going to add anything to this powerful clip, but when did the phrase "Don't be a statistic" drop out of our lexicon? Rep. Evie Hudak (D - Arvada) tells a rape victim -- to her face -- that "statistics are not on her side." If there is a better example of the collectivist mindset, I have yet to see it.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:30 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Denver Post:

"The Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence says that for every one woman who used a handgun to kill someone in self-defense, 83 were murdered by them," Hudak said.

A typical gun-grabber misleading statistic:

- How many women prevented an assault because they had a handgun, without "killing" the attacker? If it saves a single assault, isn't it worth it?

- How many of those murdered women never had their own weapon, but were victims of domestic circumstances? I'm willing to wager nearly all of them.

- Show me the statistic, CCAGW or whoever you are, for how many armed women were killed or injured versus how many attackers they deterred, killed or injured.

I have no idea who "Colorado Coalition Against Gun Violence" is. The Post story seems disinterested as well, only going so far as to dupe the witness into conceding that "the stats are against me." Yellow.

Posted by: johngalt at March 5, 2013 5:22 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

More shocking to me is the first Senator's answer! Tell me if I am wrong, but he pretty much said "the issue is not protecting you from violent attacks but ensuring that other students on campus feel comfortable when they are around you", right? In what world is this the right way to look at things?

I think Zenpundit might have been right when he suggested that for many, gun control is more about enforcing culture than it is making people safe.

Posted by: T. Greer at March 5, 2013 10:56 PM
But jk thinks:

Sen. Harvey's comment sounds very odd at first. In the end, he is apologizing for those who elevate their feelings of this woman's safety.

The ZenPundit post is right on. He even hits a riff I have been harping on:

Douthat's criticism of a reflexively angry but unimaginative and politically inept Right is correct, but class trumps mere Left-Right distinctions regarding gun control, with celebrity pundit Fareed Zakaria and conservative press baron Rupert Murdoch aligning with fellow Manhattan West Side billionaire and gun control zealot, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and various worthies in calling for UK style "gun bans".

Add the WSJ Ed Page and Larry Kudlow to the list. This is not your Daddy's left-right divide.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2013 9:46 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Replacement link at denverpost.com:

Posted by: johngalt at March 6, 2013 3:10 PM
But jk thinks:

Replaced the embed -- thanks.

Posted by: jk at March 6, 2013 3:32 PM

March 4, 2013

Outrageous Conspiracy!

It cannot be a mere coincidence that this senseless and outrageous assault with a deadly weapon was perpetrated on the eve of the Colorado State Legislature's hearings into seven new proposed gun control laws. There can be no doubt that this incident was staged by bill opponents to cast doubt on the ability of commonsense gun laws to fully and completely protect the public from assault with a deadly weapon. I can hear them now: "After you criminalize gun ownership, next you'll want to criminalize brooms as well." @$% extremists.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:29 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

When brooms are outloawed...

Posted by: jk at March 4, 2013 4:52 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hogwart's hardest hit.

OH COME ON! Harry was flying without a license - at eleven! Sure England requires registration...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at March 4, 2013 6:32 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Apparently, legislation has just been introduced to limit large capacity dust pans to 15 inches.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at March 5, 2013 2:01 PM
But jk thinks:

No reasonable person would ever need an "assault" dustpan.

Posted by: jk at March 5, 2013 2:19 PM

February 28, 2013

Berlin Boulder Airlift


"BOULDER AIRLIFT" PMAGs for Coloradans

During this period of high demand, and with the possibility of pending state legislation, we at Magpul are taking steps to ensure that responsible Colorado residents who want to own standard capacity magazines have the opportunity to do so. To meet this need, we have set up a process for CO residents to purchase limited quantities of magazines from our website.

In order to participate in this program, go to: http://store.magpul.com/member_register

Create your login account and click the “Register” button to submit. Once you receive a “Membership Confirmation” e-mail, forward it to ColoradoPMAGS@magpul.com with your name, the email used to sign up for the account, and your CO address.


Once we verify your CO residency (this process can take up to a week due to the large quantities of emails we receive) you will be added to an authorized Special Purchase group, which will allow you to purchase select magazines from a limited access section of our website. You will then receive a notification e-mail stating that you have been added to this group, and instructions for placing your order will be included.

If you already have a login account at Magpul.com, please just send an e-mail to ColoradoPMAGS@magpul.com including your name, the email used to sign up for the account, and your CO address, then the process will proceed as above.


All sales are subject to our normal compliance checks.

Posted by JohnGalt at 4:15 PM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2013

Chicks, Guns, Vice Presidents...

I should probably save this for Friday -- or take the high road and forget it. But make of it what you will, and Happy Wednesday! The Vice-president's home protection advice is called into question:

Posted by John Kranz at 11:28 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I wonder if Slow Joe even knows that a 20 gauge shotgun exists, much less the reason why: So that children, small statured women and men[?] like his interviewer can safely and comfortably fire it!

I also wonder if Mister Vice President has ever fired an AR-15, or realizes that its bullet is the same diameter as a .22 while a shotgun shell is the size of his thumb?

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2013 2:57 PM
But jk thinks:

ThreeSourcers are so wierd. They don't realize that firearms are properly ranked by how scary they look. Caliber? Recoil?

Posted by: jk at February 27, 2013 4:20 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Sarcasm noted.

Oooh, so SCARY.

If it's really about how they look then why don't they just make it illegal to paint rifles black?

Posted by: johngalt at February 27, 2013 4:37 PM

February 25, 2013

Salazar vs. Akin

One of the many advantages of my participation in Liberty on the Rocks -- Flatirons [sorry, I'm snowed in tonight!] was to meet former Colorado House Rep. Shawn Mitchell. He matches intelligence, insight, and humor. My conservative buddies who favor term limits need to explain why we are better without this man in the House.

But I digress, twice. Mitchell has a superb guest editorial in Complete Colorado. I've ridiculed the Famous Facebook Friends. It seems 100 jokes about Richard Murdock or Cloddd Akin were too few, but one mention of Rep. Joe Salazar is too many. They can find a transgression from the most remote Republican: "The Deputy Assistant Dog Catcher of Dalhart Texas said..." Yet, there is little interest in a current legislator in their home (most of them) state.

Rep. Mitchell details how this includes Colorado media and how it is actually worse than the lameness of Akin or Murdock:

So there. Akin misstated a biological consequence of rape, and unforgivably disrespected a right the Supreme Court discovered in 1973 by a 5-4 vote. It had been a moot, contrived question in any event, since Akin's particular view is in the distinct minority in the Senate and was a nonstarter as long as the court upholds Roe v. Wade.

In contrast, Salazar mocked the idea of self defense embodied in actual constitutional text, and called women potential hysterical killers. He and Colorado Democrats are pushing hard to codify this view.

By many measures, Salazar's words are more offensive and consequential than Akin's. The Post's decree otherwise was both arrogant and unnecessary. If Salazar's words merit criticism, as the Post conceded, then criticize!

Posted by John Kranz at 11:47 AM | Comments (0)

February 23, 2013

When I Vote for a Democrat...

I voted for Democrat John Hickenlooper in the last Colorado Gubernatorial race, and he has only been slightly more disappointing than most of the Republicans for whom I pulled the lever (darkened the oval).

A trained geologist, he came out for fracking. A trained politician, he toned it down at his party's urging. A professional brewer, he cut taxes on craft beers. A professional politician, he did not extend tax cuts to other industries...

Insty brings word that he may rescue us from our new Democrat Legislature on gun rights:

Now, as Colorado jobs are on the line and Democratic lawmakers continue to humiliate themselves (and their state) at a national level, it's unsure if any new gun control laws will pass in CO. Which is fine by us.

Professor Reynolds adds "If I were in Colorado, I'd be trying to encourage him to come out in favor of civil rights, not gun control."

Posted by John Kranz at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2013


The Refugee is pleased to report that he successfully passed the test to become an NRA Certified Basic Pistol instructor this past weekend. A basic pistol class is a pre-requisite to a concealed carry class in Colorado. The eight hour class (six in the classroom and two on the range) is suitable for both newbies as well as more experienced shooters wishing to pursue concealed carry. The Refugee will volunteer to teach the class to any Colorado-based Three Sourcer for the cost of materials ($15) and range fee ($5). It is available to anyone 13 or older.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 8:16 PM | Comments (7)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I shoot at the Golden Gun Club by Watkins.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 20, 2013 12:21 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Awesome! Where do you plan to conduct the classroom portion?

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2013 11:55 AM
But jk thinks:

& any interest in a clean & repair party first? Or maybe I should see a pro -- none of mine has been fired for seven years and my dear little Ruger 9mm lacks the recoil spring collar retainer. It looks pretty straightforward if I ordered parts, but is that nuts?

I'm a software guy, and thsi is clearly a hardware problem.

Posted by: jk at February 20, 2013 12:19 PM
But dagny thinks:

I'm in!!! jg has been trying to get me to class for years but I never seem to have the time. Also, unless their are other requirements, the range here at Atlantis is always open.

Posted by: dagny at February 20, 2013 3:39 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I'll conduct that class wherever it's convenient. The shooting qualification portion is basically .22 pistols at 5 yards (we can shoot larger calibers at anyone's option). As I recall, Atlantis has a suitable meeting room in the arena building that would be just fine. If there's a place to shoot the qualification, then we could easily get done in one day.

JK, I'd be happy to look at your 9mm, though I'm no gunsmith. There is, however, a gunsmith in old town Erie.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 20, 2013 6:45 PM
But jk thinks:

Say when good people! I have access to the lovely bride's .22 pistol or my Baretta .380 even if I don't get my 9mm repaired.

Posted by: jk at February 22, 2013 12:36 PM

February 18, 2013

Colorado House Passes Four Gun Bills

Did I mention that Democrats took over the Colorado State House and Senate?

Denver Post: "The four bills are: limiting magazines to 15 rounds, requiring universal background checks, requiring purchasers to pay for those checks, and banning concealed weapons on college campuses."

Concealed weapons on college campuses would be banned under a bill passed Monday in the Colorado House, legislation part of a Democratic gun control package that cleared the House the same day.

House Bill 1226, which bans concealed weapons on public college campuses, passed the House on a 34-31 vote, with three Democrats voting no.

Democrats argued guns and college students don't mix and that campuses are some of the safest places in America.

"There are a lot of students who simply are not ready to be in the presence of firearms," said Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, the sponsor of the bill. "It;s a dangerous mix."

"Democrats argued guns and college students don't mix and that campuses are some of the safest places in America." Non-sequitor much?

Posted by John Kranz at 4:31 PM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Little known fact: Both Chicago, Illinois and Washington D.C. were once sprawling college campii populated exclusively by students. Fortunately, wise politicians made private gun ownership illegal before the carnage got truly out of hand.

Posted by: johngalt at February 18, 2013 6:22 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Say, I just saw your boy Joe Salazar (D-Hoplophobia) has solved the whole problem. He's figured out that women can't be trusted with firearms, because if they're afraid of being raped or assaulted, they'll probably shoot wildly anyway. And a rapist may change his mind and not commit rape after all, and besides, college campuses are already safe zones, so there's nothing to fear.


Therefore, it's okay to disenfranchise half of America of their Second Amendment rights on the basis of gender. Or something like that.

Nice to see California doesn't have a monopoly on pinheads.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at February 19, 2013 11:44 AM
But johngalt thinks:

The press called Richard Mourdock a crackpot for his rape comments, and rightly so. Where are they now?

Posted by: johngalt at February 19, 2013 12:46 PM
But jk thinks:

Richard Murdock and Todd Akin's comments sure aroused a lot of interest from my Facebook friends. Salazar's not so much. Crickets.

Posted by: jk at February 19, 2013 1:11 PM
But johngalt thinks:


From: stlouis.cbslocal.com/2013/02/19/mo-house-bill-makes-proposing-gun-control-illegal/

Posted by: johngalt at February 19, 2013 5:16 PM

February 16, 2013

Headline of the Day

George Orwell, calll your office:

Gun ban would protect more than 2,200 firearms

Protect? Ban? Whatever. Here is a screen grab in case they change it:


Posted by John Kranz at 10:17 AM | Comments (1)
But Terri thinks:

Oh brother!

Posted by: Terri at February 16, 2013 9:49 PM

February 4, 2013

Quote of the Day

The [NYTimes] editors continue:
It is tempting to dismiss her notion that an AR-15 is a woman's best friend as the kooky reflex response of someone ideologically opposed to gun control laws...
Hmm, it is tempting to dismiss this editorial as the kooky reflex response of someone who thinks banning scary looking guns will make scary things go away. VERY tempting... Just One Minute -- h/t Blog Friend Terri
Posted by John Kranz at 6:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2013

Quote of the Day

I certainly will not claim the United Kingdom has more than twice the rape rate because American women are allowed to own guns while British women for practical purposes are not, but it does make you wonder, doesn't it? -- Clayton Cramer
Posted by John Kranz at 5:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2013

Position Paper from Colorado Sheriffs

The County Sheriffs of Colorado released a position paper [PDF] on possible gun regulation.

It is a thoughtful and serious look at many provisions being discussed to limit bulk ammunition purchases, magazine size, &c. They take each suggestion and quickly suggest real world examples in which it would impede law-abiding people.

Hat-tip: NRA-ILA spam.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:38 PM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2013

Here's Your Gun Hypocrisy

Okay, not all the goofballs on Facebook are lefties. A popular picture makes fun of the President by quoting an anti-gun line, and pointing out all the armed secret service near him. Bwa haw ha and all, but the other guys are very very -- okay too -- comfortable with government sanctioned professionals having guns. Who is going to defend us from the right wing militia kooks if the government doesn't have guns?

But fear not -- I bring you gun hypocrisy of great joy! Anti-gun activist Media Matters bought illegal guns out of state to protect founder David Brock:

Brock, whose struggles with mental health have seen him hospitalized in the past, became increasingly concerned by late 2010 that he was being targeted by right-wing assassins.

TheDC has learned that by that time, Brock had armed his assistant -- who had no permit to carry a concealed firearm -- with a Glock handgun.

According to an internal email exchange obtained by TheDC, the gun was purchased with cash in Maryland, likely to diminish the chances such a purchase would appear on the tax-exempt group's books.

Well, right wing assassins after him and all, it seems all right to me...

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2013

jk Stands Up to The Man

In this case, The Man is named Ariella:

Hi John,

Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us.

We understand that this is a sensitive topic, and that some of our customers may not agree with our choice to pause the promotion of firearm-related deals. Groupon has always aimed to offer a diverse range of products and services to meet the various tastes and interests of our subscribers. However, at this time, enough customers and merchants have voiced their opinions that we believe a hiatus is warranted.

Please note that we have never sold guns, and this hiatus only applies to firearm-related deals including shooting ranges, clay pigeon shooting, and concealed weapons training classes. We have not made a final determination regarding this category -- we are simply taking a break and may reevaluate in the future.

Per your request, I've unsubscribed this email address. You will stop receiving Groupon promotional emails within 48 hours. I can also close your account, but I want to be sure you're aware that once it is closed, you will no longer be able to access previously purchased vouchers on Groupon.com, and any existing Groupon Bucks will be voided. Please let me know if you would like to proceed.

We genuinely appreciate your opinion and the feedback you've given us. I'll be sure to share your comments with the appropriate people.

Ariella M
Groupon Customer Support

Posted by John Kranz at 9:37 AM | Comments (0)

Blame the Movies!

On the one hand, it is great to see any solution to our so called grisly national gun violence epidemic that does not involve contravention of our Second Amendment rights. But, sadly, it is often at the expense of our First. Here's Melissa Henson in Politico, linked by Insty:

Entertainment industry has blood on its hands.
But in Hollywood, talk is cheap and there is a fortune to be made by producing and distributing ever-more graphic, ever-more gruesome and ever-more grotesque violence. As the nation's focus shifted beyond Columbine, Hollywood got back to business and the violence came creeping back -- this time in greater quantity and degree than ever before. "Not our fault" was its response. "Blame the parents."

"Mental Health" is play #3 and there are certainly opportunities for improvement. But it will not be improved by hastily-penned, post-Sandy Hook responses to do something. I love Megan McArdle: "This is something. We must do something. Therefore, we must do this!"

I don't want Senator Feinstein writing our movies or designing our firearms.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:12 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

... or deciding who is "too mentally handicapped." (Anyone who disagrees with her, no doubt.)

Posted by: johngalt at January 26, 2013 1:12 AM

January 23, 2013


Under pressure from gun-control advocates, Groupon abruptly canceled all gun-related deals in North America on Friday. -- HuffPo
I inquired as to how to cancel my subscription.
Hi John,

Thanks for your submission! Although we typically respond to most emails in less than 24 hours, we're running a little behind right now. You should hear from us in about 48 hours. Sorry in advance for the delay!
Alfred! Another bitter clinger...
Posted by John Kranz at 2:46 PM | Comments (0)

January 17, 2013

Uncle Milton Crushes the Hanging Curve

If the world is sufficiently dangerous that the police require semi-automatic rifles with large-capacity magazines, then do not the free citizens who are sovereign over the police and who also live in the same dangerous world deserve to similarly protect themselves from it? In fact, are not the citizens -- not the police -- always the first ones who are forced to face those dangers? -- Milton Wolf MD
Posted by John Kranz at 12:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2013

Examine your Conscience?



I suggest the President examine the Constitution -- and perhaps peruse Federalist #10 on executive power while he is at it.

Posted by John Kranz at 1:37 PM | Comments (0)

Registration for Ammunition?

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (Satan's Minions - CT) was on FOX News Sunday yesterday to display how he earned his 'F' rating from the NRA. He called for registration of ammunition. This put me in mind of an email my (biological) brother forwarded from a friend of his:

There was a bit of confusion yesterday when I went to the sporting goods store to pick up some items for a hunting trip I was planning. When I was ready to pay for my purchase of ammunition, the cashier said, "Strip down, facing me."

I was more than a little surprised! I quickly made a mental note to complain to my congressmen about the gun registry people running amok. But, I did just as she had instructed.

When the hysterical shrieking and alarms finally subsided I discovered that she was referring to my credit card.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:36 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, but we should take his opinions seriously because his "background is in law enforcement too." I can see it now: Man Stops Murder Spree, Saves Dozens, Cited for Unregistered Ammo.


Posted by: johngalt at January 14, 2013 2:22 PM
But jk thinks:

His "career in law enforcement" was his tenure as a trial-by-media AG in the Nutmeg State, alleging wild Spitzeresque investigations that had no hope in court, then pushing for a settlement from a company eager to avoid embarrassment and protracted snooping.

That's not even fair to NYAG Spitzer -- he had the Martin Act that made some of his irresponsible accusations indictable.

Posted by: jk at January 14, 2013 3:01 PM

January 11, 2013

A New National Debate About Guns.

Finally. A national debate. Okay, </sarcasm>

I think my betters in punditry and journalism, and my Facebook friends are all missing the battlefield topology. Yes it will be Democrats who lead on gun control. Yes Republicans will oppose.

But legislative pluralities happen or fail at the margins, and that battle looks far different than ObamaCare® or The Fiscal Cliff™. Pointy-Headed East Coast Elite Kim Strassel is mostly on it (thanks to her Oregon roots, no doubt):

Montana's Jon Tester and Max Baucus, Alaska's Mark Begich, Arkansas's Mark Pryor, South Dakota's Tim Johnson, Louisiana's Mary Landrieu--all are quiet on that red-state Democratic front. North Dakota's brand new senator, Heidi Heitkamp, declared proposals mulled by the Biden task force as "way in the extreme" and "not gonna pass." Unlike Mr. Obama, all of these members still face elections.

Before you pop the champagne corks, these red-state defections are offset on some level by the wobbliest bunch of blue-state Republicans you've seen since "West Wing" was on Tuesday nights.

It's unbearable to watch my pal, Larry Kudlow. Love the man but he does not get it. He lives in a Park Avenue apartment with a doorman and the Second Amendment is most notably about duck hunting to him:

Now, look, I have said i am totally against the jack lew nomination for treasury secretary. but regarding these gun issues, jen, so far, i haven't heard anything that's so bad. in fact, from what i gather, they're going to reinstitute the ban on assault weapons that was law for ten years. what's wrong with that? (~3:23)

Talk show host Lars Larson is the first guest since Sandy Hook who pushes back at all, and I am not sure he is effective. Überpartisan Jennifer Rubin of the WaPo points out inefficacy but -- like every pointy-headed East Coast guest -- concedes the philosophical foundation:
i don't have any problem, larry like you, with either one of these provisions. i'm a second amendment supporter and i don't think these go to that level.

You hear the same concessions on the FOX News Sunday panel and probably on MSNBC: a Republican PHECE (Pointy-Headed-East-Coast-Elite) arguing vociferously with a Democrat PHECE about some fringe piece of legislation.

But nobody says what I read on blogs all day (cocoon much?): that we have an inalienable right to self-defense, that the good guys should have as many rounds in a magazine (umm, they're not really "clips"), and that more guns in the good guys' hands means less crime and less violence. That view is not to be found on cable news.

Posted by John Kranz at 9:26 AM | Comments (0)

And a new ThreeSources Debate about Guns...

NRA Gains 100,000 new paid members in 180 Days

Make that 100,002. We've traded barbs about the NRA's support for Harry Reid and lack of philosophical footing. I'll confess that armed guards in schools is the gorramnest stupidest idea I ever heard. (If it's needed, let a local district do it, but the real solution is letting the shop teacher who served in the National Guard and has a carry permit not leave hers at home.)

I'm happy to renew and add to that statistic, but they are an imperfect vessel at best. Discuss?

Posted by John Kranz at 9:12 AM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

Is it not inevitable that the NRA will follow the same devolutionary course as the AARP and the AMA? More individualistic alternatives to the later have recently appeared. More individualistic alternatives to the former have existed for years. Not done yet, but it is my intention to join forces with one of the alternatives.

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2013 3:51 PM
But johngalt thinks:

In their defense, NRA-ILA director Chris Cox told the press that VP Biden had no interest in what the group had to say. They merely "checked the box" for having "met with the NRA."

Posted by: johngalt at January 11, 2013 4:03 PM
But jk thinks:

I think we're on the same page. I thought $35 x 2 to be a good investment as we head into the soup.

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2013 4:11 PM
But jk thinks:

O'Sullivan's First Law:

All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing. I cite as supporting evidence the ACLU, the Ford Foundation, and the Episcopal Church. The reason is, of course, that people who staff such bodies tend to be the sort who don't like private profit, business, making money, the current organization of society, and, by extension, the Western world. At which point Michels's Iron Law of Oligarchy takes over -- and the rest follows.

Posted by: jk at January 11, 2013 4:15 PM

January 1, 2013

California Gun Safe

Because guns are DANGEROUS!

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:09 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday


At this time, we are not accepting any order changes or combining of multiple orders. Once an order is placed we cannot make any changes to the order. If you need to add additional items you will need to place a new order. If you need to remove or change items on your order you can email and we will cancel the order and you can place a new order.

In an effort to serve our online customers effectively, we are temporarily suspending walk in sales of ammunition. We will welcome walk in customers again once we have processed our current backlog. If you have already placed an order for local pick-up, you may pick up your order in our office, once you have been notified that it is ready.

Due to the extremely high volume of orders that we are receiving at this time we are experiencing a processing delay of 19-21 business days. We are working very hard every day to keep the delays minimal. Your patience is greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your business!

Info page at ammo to go dot com.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:44 PM | Comments (2)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Final Jeopardy:
Category: American Economics.

The answer is:

"Three American sectors of business in which left-wing economic policy has resulted in a working stimulus, as an unintended consequence." Remember, your answer must be in the form of a question.

Dum-de-dum, dah-dah dum-de-dum; dum-dee-dum-dee DAH! Da-da-da-da-da..."

Alex, what are:

(1) Chick-Fil-A.
(2) Papa John's.
(3) Gun and ammo manufacturers.

I hope you wagered it all...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 27, 2012 5:19 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Would bet the farm on you every time, KA. Every time.

We'll miss you tonight. And BR and Bryan and ...

Posted by: johngalt at December 28, 2012 5:00 PM

Quote of the Day

How perfect can you get? Mr. Gregory interrogates Mr. LaPierre on the subject of whether to ban a magazine that it is illegal for Mr. Gregory to display but apparently easy enough to acquire in time for a Sunday morning broadcast. So here we have a possible indictment that would be entirely nonsensical of a journalist who was trying to embarrass an NRA official over an ammunition ban whose impact would be entirely symbolic. -- WSJ Ed Page
Posted by John Kranz at 10:24 AM | Comments (0)

December 26, 2012

Tweet of the ... Ever

Mondo Heh! Hat-tip, more & backstory: Kerry Picket @ Brietbart

Posted by John Kranz at 11:20 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Honorable mention (also by Clarkson): "Americans. Was the second amendment not introduced to protect you from the tyranny of the British? Piers Morgan in other words."

Now following @JeremyClarkson and @thehamsterscage (Richard Hammond)

Posted by: johngalt at December 26, 2012 3:15 PM

December 21, 2012

Second Amendment ain't About Duck Hunting!

Blog friend Terri suggests I might be bringing the phrase back. It sounds like a good cause.

I saw this on Facebook and the lovely bride and I have watched it several times. Dr. Susanna Gratia Hupp uses the phrase and demonstrates a keen understanding.

I did not know anything about her. Wikipedia:

Suzanna Gratia Hupp, DC, (born September 28, 1959) is a former Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, who represented traditionally Democratic District 54 (Bell, Burnet, and Lampasas counties) for ten years from 1997-2007. After surviving the Luby's massacre in 1991, Hupp became a leading advocate of an individual's right to carry a concealed weapon. She was elected to her first term in 1996, but did not seek a sixth two-year term in 2006. She has also written a book called From Luby's to the Legislature: One Woman's Fight Against Gun Control, published by Privateer Publications, San Antonio, Texas.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:42 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

I'm beaming with pride. An AMERICAN woman - with cast-iron cajones.

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2012 4:12 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Oh, I almost forgot. She's a Texan.

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2012 6:08 PM

December 20, 2012

Some days, It's Good to Have Libertarians

Jacob Sullum of Reason is pretty good here:

Hat-tip: Ann Althouse

Posted by John Kranz at 7:35 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

"There are a lot of things that are illegal that we don't actually search houses for, unless there's probable cause."

"I'd be happy for it to be a felony."

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2012 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

To clarify, the preceding is brought to you as: Crazy shit that utopian state-control-worshipping Mirandians (Robert Wright) often say.

Posted by: johngalt at December 21, 2012 5:33 PM
But jk thinks:

I lost 14 centijoules/sec2 of hope last night.

Larry Kudlow had CNN's Piers Morgan on. He showed a brief clip of Morgan attacking Larry Pratt. And I settled in to watch Larry at least question his lack of civility if not his disregard for birthright liberty.

But it was not to be.

They agreed on everything. Kudlow served up softballs like "Why do they need these 100 round clips?" "What hunter needs an assault rifle?" and "Who says the DH obviates tactical managing?" (well, maybe not all of those....)

The traditional red-blue, Democrat-Republican alliances really break down in gun rights in favor of a more urban-rural, east-west, elite-plebian split. My buddies at the Wall Street Journal and Larry are of no use to me now.

Kudlow had zero guests who supported a rights-based interpretation of the Second Amendment. After Morgan's bit, he had a panel of Democrat pointy-headed, East coast elites debating GOP pointy-headed, East coast elites about --if I may borrow from Edna St. Vincent Millay -- "nothing, intricately drawn nowhere In shapes of shifting lineage."

Posted by: jk at December 22, 2012 11:55 AM

December 19, 2012


Facebook is calming a bit, but one locution is going to drive me mad <groucho_voice>...and I could walk!</groucho_voice>

I think ThreeSourcers might get a kick out of this Coffee Party USA piece in its entirety, but I wanted to discuss:

Dear friends who think we need more guns in the classroom to protect our children: Why stop at arming teachers? Why not arm children? How far will you go in thinking that easy access to guns is the solution to the problem of gun violence in our society? Do you want any regulation at all? Do you want buying assault rifles to be as easy as getting a Slurpee from 7-11? Would you allow children to purchase guns? Do you really think easy access to combat weapons is about personal freedom? Do you really think that's what founding fathers had in mind when they made enormous sacrifices to build America? I can't understand how you're thinking about this.

Yeah! Huh? What about it? Knuckle-draggers! What say you?

I just wanted to share that -- but the phrase which is used elsewhere less aggressively is "arming teachers." As if we are going to make it mandatory: Israeli boot camp, them a county-issued AK-47. A $100 fine if you forget to bring it to work.

I know I am asking a lot of decency from the opposition, but I really want them to admit that the idea is to allow those who legally carry and feel comfortable to behave at work as they would behave at home or at the mall. This brings the percentage of armed teachers from zero to > 0 -- pari passu the potential risk of return fire to weenie adolescents. Same as the Mall, same as the street. Uncertainty protects those not packin'.

Posted by John Kranz at 4:45 PM | Comments (4)
But johngalt thinks:

And to think I was called an extremist on Facebook today. Is there no middle ground between "absolutely none" and "everyone's packin'?" Forget fifty, that is 79.2 million shades of gray.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2012 6:09 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

I'll go a little farther, lessee...in order:

Yes, Why? Do you mean 19-year-olds, they shoot mortars in the Army, y'know. Pretty dern far. Yes, we shouldn't force anyone to carry. You can't buy "assault rifles" right out of a gun shop now, schmuck. No, the question shows your stupidity, or your insincerity. Hell, yes! Double hell, yes!

And finally, I CAN understand how they're thinking. That's the difference; they don't understand us, we understand them, and disagree.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at December 19, 2012 8:48 PM
But Terri thinks:

"I can't understand how you're thinking about this"

Clearly the author isn't even bothering to try. Do people even read what they write?

Posted by: Terri at December 20, 2012 8:01 AM
But jk thinks:

The author is founder of "The Coffee Party" and I can almost forgive that terrible expropriation. The tenor, tone, and content are what I would expect.

I'm far more troubled by the poster. He's a PhD, used to work for me, super bright, very nice, capable of measured and reasoned debate. I asked whether -- like the author -- he had been shouted down, told to shut up or called names by his Facebook friends.

No but "I think she did a nice job with some of the arguments I've read out there, which is why I reposted."

Sign me up with @Terri: I don't see any clever arguments in the whole piece; it is just a series of strawman attacks.

And thanks @Ellis. But do we get credit? We have to understand them, their side is pushed in our face 23 1/2 hours a day (Only a brief respite on 3src or Ruminants...)

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2012 9:05 AM


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- President Barack Obama will announce on Wednesday that Vice President Joe Biden will lead an effort to come up with policies to address gun violence amid calls for action following the massacre of 26 people including 20 children in a Connecticut elementary school last week.
For a moment, I was afraid they might do something. Now I feel better.


"I guarantee you Barack Obama ain't taking my shotguns, so don't buy that malarkey," Biden said to voters during a campaign stop in Castlewood, Virginia on September 20. "Don't buy that malarkey. They're going to start peddling that to you."

Bastard malarky peddlers!

Posted by John Kranz at 8:41 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Certainly you don't mean to imply that the folksy reassurances of Mister Biden were disingenous, or merely said for political effect prior to an election knowing full well that Mister Obama would pounce on an opportunity to further restrict gun ownership at the first tragic opportunity. Why, that would make him nothing more than a common politician.

Posted by: johngalt at December 19, 2012 10:58 PM

December 18, 2012

On Guns

Facebook may or may not be cooling down enough to share this, but I think y'all will dig it:

Yes, Guns Are Dangerous. But They Also Save Lives and Secure Civil Rights

"I'm alive today because of the Second Amendment and the natural right to keep and bear arms," declared John R. Salter Jr., one of the organizers of the famous non-violent sit-ins against segregated lunch counters in Jackson, Mississippi. Writing in 1994, Salter noted that he always "traveled armed" while working as a civil rights organizer in the Deep South. "Like a martyred friend of mine, NAACP staffer Medgar W. Evers, I, too, was on many Klan death lists and I, too, traveled armed: a .38 special Smith and Wesson revolver and a 44/40 Winchester carbine," Salter wrote. "The knowledge that I had these weapons and was willing to use them kept enemies at bay."

I was thinking of Secretary Rice's eloquent defenses of the Second Amendment watching her father defend their family in Jim Crow Birmingham. There is a default fallback position of "wouldn't it be wonderful if there were no guns, but because there are we must deal with it" even from some gun rights supporters. Minority protection is worth a reminder, as is the fact that Senator Feinstein would not want them to have the most effective hardware.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:00 PM | Comments (4)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Saturday night, I was at my church's annual Christmas Party, where we had one of those ten-dollar gift exchanges where everyone draws a number, picks a present, there's an option to steal - you know the game. What exchange gift did I leave with?

A box of 12-gauge shotgun shells.

Clearly, I'm attending the right church.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 18, 2012 7:05 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Number four or double-ought?

Posted by: johngalt at December 18, 2012 11:17 PM
But jk thinks:

What he's asking is: Reform or Nicene Creed?

Posted by: jk at December 19, 2012 8:01 AM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Snappy answer: Westminster Confession, Winchester Ammo. Like 'em both.

Kidding aside, number four.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 19, 2012 4:58 PM

December 17, 2012

Democratic Senator Calls for Gun Control on MSNBC!

STOP THE PRESSES! This isn't just any Democratic Senator -- this is Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia. He waffled in his support for the President so he could get elected! He's a member of the NRA! Did I mention the West Virginia part? It's Joe Freaking Manchin!

Why he is practically a Republican. If Republicans had a D after their name and voted for Harry Reid for Majority Leader and ran against the person that won the Republican primary.

The call for some form of new gun limits got a boost Monday when Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a strong defenders of gun rights in Congress, said it was "time to move beyond rhetoric" and suggested he would be open to restrictions on assault rifles.

The comments by the Democratic senator and former governor, made on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," suggest even strong proponents of gun rights in Congress may begin to shift in their views after the deadly shooting rampage last week in Newtown, Conn.

Well, then. What is that Constitution-thingy against a Senator who senses a change in public opinion?
"I don't know anyone who in the hunting or sporting arena that goes out with an assault rifle. I don't know anybody that needs 30 rounds in the clip to go hunting," he said, adding that he had just returned from deer hunting with his family.

Deer hunting! He's a sportsman! The world's greatest bumper sticker said "The 2nd Amendment ain't about duck hunting." I saw it a long time ago and I had no idea what it meant. A decade or two later, I figured it out. If only the US Senate were educable...

Posted by John Kranz at 3:24 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Time to start a new meme, inspired by my father:

Don't forget Benghazi.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2012 3:54 PM
But AndyN thinks:

A narrow reading of US v. Miller would suggest that the government should be able to ban whatever it was Manchin used to shoot at Bambi's dad, but is proscribed from banning the scary black guns he has his panties in a wad over.

Posted by: AndyN at December 17, 2012 4:16 PM
But jk thinks:

"Bambi's Dad..." Awesome!

Wondering if we have "Return of the Secaucus Seven" Fans around here. The young folks are brought in for hitting a deer and tell their cell mates they're in for "Bambicide."

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2012 7:01 PM

Ten ways to stop school shootings

Let's do this thing. I can't get away with this on Facebook, but I wish to try it here.

Governor Huckabee wants religion in the public schools to stop shootings; fake Morgan Freeman wants to muzzle media. Those both run afoul of the First Amendment.

Mayor Bloomberg and Sen. Feinstein are not hewing too closely to the spirit or letter of the Second.

Clearly, the real problem is the Third. Were we to quarter soldiers in these children's homes they could protect their charges from the bad guys. Problem solved.

Maybe routine, random searches of boys from 12-27 (once they're off Mommy's health insurance, they're adults). See if they've got too much ammunition.

Hell, we could lock up those with Asperger's.

Jury trials, cruel and unusual punishment, unenumerated rights and enumerated powers are left as an exercise to the reader. But clearly THE BILL OF RIGHTS IS CAUSING SCHOOL SHOOTINGS! We must abolish it.

It's . . . wait for it . . . for the children!

Posted by John Kranz at 9:31 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Sarcasm and frustration duly noted. I feel it too.

I'm leaning toward measures to restrict guns in homes with mentally challenged persons of all ages, but it's a slippery slope where government determines "mentally challenged." ATF Form 4473, the gun dealer transfer form asks in question 11f, "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?" Expand this to include "or anyone residing with you?" Maybe. But the CT boy, it seems, was never "adjudicated."

A better solution? Perhaps relocate all schools into movie theaters showing "The Hobbit."

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2012 3:23 PM

December 15, 2012

The Big Picture

This is a website widget.
It can be embedded on the sidebar.
This is a subtle hint. ;)
(Click the blue "i" circle.)

I'd also like to remind the United States Congress that their "Gun Free Schools Act" (of 1990 and 1995) AIN'T GETTIN' IT DONE.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:05 PM | Comments (13)
But Jk thinks:

...and the Morgan Freeman thing is a hoax.

Posted by: Jk at December 16, 2012 9:13 PM
But johngalt thinks:

My sense is that prescription antidepressants have been over prescribed to "hyperactive" boys over the last 10-20 years (remember Tom Cruise's 'don't let them drug your kids' campaign) and that school shootings by young males have increased concommitantly. Like to see a graph of the data. Suspect it might be comparable to the BEST CHART EVER! But I know you're a fan of the pharma industry... I think there are bad drugs and good drugs. Anti-depressants, like psychiatrists, piss me off.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2012 12:49 AM
But jk thinks:

Fair. My blog brother has found that rarest of issues -- one for which I have no strong opinion. Had he not quoted a Hollywood celebrity and noted Scientologist, I'd probably be on board...

I suspect without empirical evidence that many, perhaps most, of the patients on anti-depressants are benefitting from them. As long as that number is not zero, your favorite big pharma shill holds them blameless: it is a doctor-patient problem if a tool is misused.

Nor is over-prescription confined to young lads. When the lovely bride was in the hospital, her nurses were amazed that she was not on them. An American woman in her forties without a prescription? There must be some problem. That disturbed me a bit.

Posted by: jk at December 17, 2012 9:32 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Heh. Yeah, that occurred to me too. He almost does a disservice to endorse a cause.

My grandfather was medicated with Xanex. I'm convinced it hastened his passing. The prescribing physician came around at the funeral and offered "whatever you need to my grandmother." My dad ran him off. Said physician died within a couple of years of "drug overdose."

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2012 3:40 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Not a perfect source, but believable:

"This skews data by confusing the cause of the illness with feedback mechanisms potentiated by psychotropic drugs."

"To date, all studied psychotropic drugs potentiate feedback mechanisms, some feedback mechanisms of which have been implicated in causing the same symptoms of the illness the drugs are approved to treat."

And not a Scientologist to be found.

Posted by: johngalt at December 17, 2012 3:50 PM
But jk thinks:

[D'oh! Postted to wrong thread!]

Problematical. But isn't this at worse a medical practices or epistemology issue? Is there a government function? (And I don't mean that in a neener-neener libertarian sense...)

And unless you say that all diagnoses are wrong and the benefits never outweigh the risks, the question is just a judgment of diagnoses -- a path I seldom trod.

Posted by: jk at December 18, 2012 10:29 AM

December 6, 2012

A Good Wedge Issue?

The lovely bride posts this on Facebook:

Bob Costas's little diatribe has stirred up all the right people. I'm not sure the faculty at West Connecticut State College was tuned into Sunday Night Football. I talk about my lefty pals, but the 2nd Amendment supporters seem charged up.

Insty links to an Examiner editorial today by Brian Hughes titled "Obama expected to push gun control in second term"

"I expect President Obama to take the lead on closing the gaping hole in our 'system' for keeping guns from criminals, underage youth and other prohibited persons," Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, said. "The federal government's failure to require all gun sellers to verify that prospective gun owners have passed a background check before transferring a firearm is the single biggest flaw in the current system."

Yeah, you always see the gangbangers at the gun shows, lined up for a chance at a vintage remanufactured 1911 with no background checks.

But the GOP is on the wrong side of many "wedge" issues. If you don't agree with me philosophically, at least admit that reproductive rights and gay rights are popular. And they are popular not only in a "Gallup says 63% of registered voters..." sense. We saw with Sandra Fluke in 2012 and the stunning opposition to Ken Buck for Colorado Senate in 2010 that reproductive rights powerfully define "membership." A candidate who can be painted in opposition (Paul Ryan? really?) can be immediate discredited. A group of voters has zero interest in hearing anything from a candidate that is not unabashedly supportive of contraception, abortion, gay marriage -- irrespective of funding or regulation or other picayune details.

The GOP's weapon of choice is gun rights, and I salivate -- not directly on the Ruger P95, but I salivate -- that the Democrats might overstep. Like contraception, you can discount its importance in a big world of $16T debt. And yet, the GOP stands proudly on the side of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and respect for Constitutional principles.

I don't say "bring it on" very frequently, as I am used to being in political minority. But I fear the progressives might be bringing a strongly-worded letter to a gun fight.

Posted by John Kranz at 12:27 PM | Comments (6)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Ever since Al Gore lost his home state of Tennessee (and therefore the presidency) due to his anti-gun agenda, gun control has been the third rail to Democrats. The Refugee is with JK - he'd love to see 'em touch Old Sparky again. Dems may hate the NRA, but they don't mess with 'em.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 6, 2012 5:46 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

The Ruger P95 is an excellent choice for a budget 9mm, but if you really want to salivate, consider the Sig Sauer P229 DAK in the .40 incarnation.

And if you're going to say "bring it on" in a gun post, I believe the Three Sources Stylebook says the proper way of spelling that is "MOLON LABE."

Putting the above aside, there's one serious issue I'd like to add to this discussion, and that's a thought on your third-to-last paragraph: being on the wrong side of an issue, versus popularity. I'd hasten to add that what is popular or what is chosen by the majority isn't always what is the right side of an issue. Obama has won now two presidential elections; quod erat demonstrandum. Once upon a time, the majority in significant places thought it was right to require blacks to sit at the back of the bus. The majority sometimes only decides who wins, not who's right. I'd posit that the losing side isn't always the wrong side (thank you, Malcolm Reynolds), and it wasn't the wrong side in November.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 6, 2012 7:00 PM
But jk thinks:

I have a P95 and budget is apt. It has a smoothness that I really dig.

If my research is correct, "MOLON LABE" is Greek for "from my cold dead hands, Mister President!" That about right?

Posted by: jk at December 6, 2012 7:15 PM
But dagny thinks:

You know it wouldn't be any fun around here if we didn't disagree. I am not convinced that Gun Control is always a losing issue for the Democrats.

They make hay on the Gun Control argument on cases like this one in KC where "innocent," people need to be protected from themselves and others. That football player was as far as I know not a criminal before he shot his girlfriend and therefore our current laws would not have prevented his gun ownership. But obviously HE would have been better off if he hadn't been able to buy a gun. The same argument comes up when some kindergartener takes daddy's gun to school and shoots some other kindergartener. Don't we have a responsibility to protect these people and others from their own stupidity?

This argument carries weight with a large segment of the population who do not own guns and therefore their rights are not being infringed. They believe it's OK to infringe others rights for, "their own protection." It's for the children.

Posted by: dagny at December 6, 2012 7:32 PM
But Terri thinks:

I just want to thank your lovely bride for the eye candy!

Posted by: Terri at December 7, 2012 9:53 AM
But jk thinks:

@Terri: Hahahahahaha! It is only right after all the Charisma Carpenter pix. Actually, the man's voice is confectionary to me. Just looking at that pic makes me want to load up my Dodge Ram truck with Coors Banquet Beer and go see "The Big Lebowski."

@Dagny: Yes but. The point I was going for -- and poorly made -- was between "sticky" issues and general discontent. Yes the gun stance will chase away a few, it's a big country. But those are at the margins or might be leaning the other way or might get pissed off about something else the stupid party does.

The "Reagan Democrats" however, will oppose their Union, disregard campaign flaws and crawl over glass to oppose Senator Feinstein's brigades. The NRA had been fairly silent for a couple quadrennials. This makes Old Sparky (@BR: Hahahahahha!) a net plus.

Posted by: jk at December 7, 2012 11:24 AM

December 5, 2012

Quote of the Day

But I don't blame Bob Costas. I blame the microphone. I blame the microphone. If that microphone hadn't been on, nobody would know what Costas said. If you stop and think about it, it's the microphone's fault. Costas, he's up there, he's in the broadcast booth at halftime. -- Rush Limbaugh via Ed Driscoll
Posted by John Kranz at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

November 1, 2012

Otequay of the Ayday

"When I had the gun, I didn't think I was actually going to have to shoot somebody," the 6th grader recalled. "I think it's going to change me a whole lot, knowing that I can hold my head up high and nothing can hurt me anymore."

Twelve year-old Kendra St. Clair after shooting an intruder with her mother's .40 cal Glock during a burglary of her Oklahoma home.

UPDATE: A local TV news report at embedded here ends with the additional information that the suspect was arrested last year in connection with the kidnapping of a 17 year-old girl with "diminished mental capacity." This was quite possibly more than a burglary attempt.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:32 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I'm Okie on my Mom's side. Damn straight, Kendra!

Posted by: jk at November 1, 2012 4:51 PM

July 30, 2012

Change that Works

I don't remember everything from 1985 - Ronald Reagan was president and I was graduating from college - but another vivid memory is the US Defense Department's decision to replace the venerable John Browning designed Colt 1911 pistol as the standard duty issue firearm for all armed forces. It was the height of a nascent competitive bid movement in government procurement and not enough attention was paid to quality or to a host of other issues. The Pentagon seemed to hope that making a change to a cheaper, foreign-made, smaller caliber pistol would deliver the same excellent service as its predecessor while also showing that they were a modern, non-discriminatory, progressive organization willing to take the "smarter" path. They selected the Beretta M9, a 9mm pistol made in Italy, to replace the seventy-four year old Colt. Now, some twenty seven years later, at least one branch of the U.S. armed forces is willing to admit a mistake. Fox News: Sticking to their guns: Marines place $22.5M order for the Colt .45 M1911

Some reports suggest Marines are not happy with their main Beretta M9s for their lack of accuracy and stopping power. With M1911's now supplying Special Ops, growing interest may lead to a better solution.

"To have the 1911 selected again for U. S. Forces 101 years after its initial introduction is just an incredible testament to the timeless design and effectiveness of the Colt 1911," Dinkel said. "This is truly a gratifying contract award."

Now, more than any time I can remember, it is reassuring to know that some Americans are willing to admit when they make a mistake - and act quickly to fix the problem the best way they know how.

Posted by JohnGalt at 10:51 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

I am delighted to see the Marines returning to the venerable .45. My father, who was in the USMC for two and a half decades, once told me the reason that the 1911 was the sidearm of choice of the Corps was because even after you'd expended all your ammunition, you still had a weapon; you could beat the enemy to death with an empty .45.

Sort of just to make the point, and have fun while I'm at it: http://is.gd/NtyeEy

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 31, 2012 12:35 AM

July 25, 2012

Quote of the Day

But I will happily don the term "gun lobbyist" if the Denver Post editorial board will concede to being part of "the gun-restriction lobby"--or to state it more negatively, "the victim disarmament lobby." -- Ari Armstrong
I pulled the snarkiest quote from a serious and balanced piece on DP reporting.
Posted by John Kranz at 2:33 PM | Comments (0)

On the O.K. Corral

An understandable and prevalent misconception of self defense with firearms is that the cinema shooting would have been far worse with return fire. People educated on TV Westerns no doubt envision a dozen cowboys firing at will. Stray fire everywhere. Scary.

In fact the first gun control I heard was on Facebook. A normally apolitical musician buddy said "Stop the Politics! (Facebook code for "listen to me and then shut up!") Had they fired back, 50 or 100 would have died!"

I have heard this echoed by more responsible commentators including some on the right. Firearm self defense clearly breaks down more among regional lines and elitism than left/right. I have been watching Bill Kristol and Larry Kudlow acquiesce to all kinds of restrictions that they'd never accept on speech or taxes. The NRA clearly has a point being non-partisan.

John Lott puts the rumors to bed in the NY Daily News today.

The ban against nonpolice carrying guns usually rests on the false notion that almost anyone can suddenly go crazy and start misusing their weapon or that any crossfire with a killer would be worse than the crime itself. But in state after state, permit holders are extremely law-abiding. They can lose their permits for any type of firearms-related violation.

Nor have I found a single example on record of a multiple-victim public shooting in which a permit holder accidentally shot a bystander.

And I haven't even touched upon the pure deterrent effect of a potential mass murderer having to worry that one of his targets might be armed.

Not a single example of a permit-holding defender... ThreeSourcers have a very different picture of a responsible citizen's capacity to interrupt such an event than my drummer friend.

Even Lott's piece specifies that "And it’s true that the gunman, wearing protective body armor, would have been tough for a civilian to stop." I think this is more bad media coverage from the people who told us he was a tea partier and that his Mom thought he was a likely mass murderer (oops).

The sterling record of self defense provides a superb consequentialist argument to the rights argument. Believers should promote the truth.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Hoplophobes (it's a word, dagnabit) love to assume that the average armed citizen will fall back to the "spray and pray" method of defensive fire. The environment becomes a lead snowstorm, more brass falls to the pavement than it did in the Matrix, and bloody carcasses get stacked like cordwood.


One of the first rules of responsible firearm discipline is being aware of what's behind whatever is in your sights. Bullets have a remarkable propensity for going through the intended target and into innocent bystanders behind them. I submit that armed citizens have a remarkably clean record of taking out innocents - probably fewer than the recent months' history of no-knock warrant service, for instance.

I have no problem with hoplophobes' frequent reminder of what could go wrong; such reminders keep us all sharp, and aware. In return, though, history demonstrates that it happens only rarely in real life.

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 25, 2012 1:31 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

And, just to be a pain in the butt, two points:

Point The First: I don't know because I wasn't there, but several reports I've read say that the gunman wasn't wearing "protective body armor," but simply a tactical vest. Lots of pockets for extra mags and stuff, but no plates, no ceramic, no more protection that your off-the-rack windbreaker. Just as some weapons were placed on the "assault rifle" list because they just looked vicious and nasty, a tactical vest is black, looks like something a gun nut would wear, and scares the ignorant - therefore, body armor, noob. Would love some clarification on this.

Point The Second: even were he wearing gen-u-wine body armor, it doesn't make him immortal. A quality body armor outfit will prevent a significant range of bullets from penetrating to the skin, there's still that whole mass-times-the-square-of-velocity issue to contend with, and all that momentum gets transferred to the target. Someone wearing body armor may survive immediate death, but he will know he's been tagged but good, and he will probably need a few seconds to get himself up off the deck. Think Zoe at the end of the Firefly pilot (never a bad time for an obligatory Firefly reference).

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 25, 2012 1:46 PM
But jk thinks:

You're more generous than I. I don't reckon Hoplophobes are promoting firearm safety. They use ignorance or deception to oppose reason. (I warned about my generosity...)

Lott shows on one side MANY lives saved from armed innocent parties intercepting perpetrators of violence. On the other hand we have (carry the one, divide by fifteen, convert to hex...) ZERO examples of innocent lives mistakenly taken. Something that has saved a lot of lives and taken none seems like a pretty good deal to me. Hoplophobes seek the exchange of fact for their private imagination.

Much we don't know, but I was proceeding on the assumption of no body armor, that the exact item was found and it just has a lot of handy pockets and menacing style. This could be proven wrong, but with ABC's record on everything else, I'm leaning toward PJ.

Posted by: jk at July 25, 2012 2:13 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

The first time I ever heard the term "hoplophobe" was in the writngs of Col. Jeff Cooper (God rest his heroic soul). I don't know if he invented it but believe so. Hoplophobes are generally fearful of all weapons and not just firearms, by the way.

I have been diligently searching and it's known that the PondscumWho Shall Not Be Named bought an "assault vest" which is emphatically not "body armor," but the complete blackout on the case is delaying finding out what he was actually wearing. I am inclined to believe now that one COM shot from a .45 would have ended the carnage. But of course Century had made it a Designated Victim Zone.

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 25, 2012 2:27 PM
But dagny thinks:

Seems appropriate to repeat a previous RAHQOTD here:
"An armed society is a polite society."
From Beyond this Horizon.

Also, for those not familiar (possibly none on 3srces), I highly recommend John Lott's book, "More Guns, Less Crime."

Posted by: dagny at July 25, 2012 4:27 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If I may sharpen a point, self-defense rounds are loaded with hollow point bullets. This is not primarily to increase the damage done to the target, but to lessen the danger from shoot through to bystanders.

The - hoplophobes? - chide us that the police are there, paid and trained, to protect us. The Aurora police chief said officers were on scene engaging the suspect "within one to one-and-a-half minutes." Rumor has it that a police substation is even in the same complex as the theater. And yet, 70-odd citizens shot, twelve dead. Trained policemen fired a sum total of zero rounds in apprehending Mr. Six Thousand Bullets. Beside applying handcuffs to the scumbag grad student the other service provided by police was documentation of the crime scene. A process colloquially referred to as, "drawing chalk outlines around the victims' bodies."

In my opinion, gun haters don't really feel less safe in the presence of armed fellow citizens. Instead they merely recoil at the fact that those armed citizens feel safer than they do. Some others, on the other hand - women in particular - decide that their own life is worth protecting. (A friend told me this week that his wife is now giving in to his years-long cajoling to get her carry permit.) "It is better to be armed than not."

Posted by: johngalt at July 26, 2012 2:36 AM

July 24, 2012


I have been thinking of this quote for a few days. It's time I can say it and apologize if I offend. I found it in an old post of mine. (I hope my Google searches for "penn jillette terrorist" and similar variants don't cause my hero too much consternation...)

Life, my friends, is both tenuous and tenacious. I think we owe it to the world to live it bravely. I bring you Christopher Beam ridiculing Penn & Teller's soi disant rigid libertarianism:

When I was in high school, I owned a book by Penn & Teller called How to Play in Traffic. It's mainly a series of jokes, gags, and madcap yarns by the magic-comedy duo. But it also channels the libertarian id of Penn Jillette. "I sincerely don't want to offend any of our readers, but I've got something to say," he writes. "It's very simple, but a bit controversial: The United States of America does not have a problem with terrorism. We just don't." Airport security is not worth the hassle, he continues: "Hey, we're alive, there's risk. Some planes are going to go down like falling twisted burning human cattle cars and there's no stopping it. No one can make any form of travel 100 percent safe. We'll take our chances. As for the victims of a security-free transportation system? Let's consider those terrorism victims heroes," he writes. Let's say they died for freedom. They didn't die for us to have our phones tapped and have our time wasted at airports." He then describes a prank where you create a screensaver for your laptop that looks like a countdown to detonation.

This, I'll confess, was about my first thought after the Aurora movie shooting. Let us live freely and act courageously. And when our brave companions die in the sky, at the cinema, or in the hospital, let us cheer the valiant heroics of a life lived freely.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

July 1, 2012

Google Gun Ban

A Tweet from Doug Giles alerted me to this story posted yesterday at a blog called Freedom Outpost. It includes the original text of a written notice from Google Shopping (Mountain View, CA) to weapon’s parts and accessories vendor Hamlund Tactical.

We do not allow the promotion or sale of weapons and any related products such as ammunitions or accessory kits on Google Shopping. In order to comply with our new policies, please remove any weapon-related products from your data feed and then re-submit your feed in the Merchant Center.

So glad I'm already practicing a "boycott Google" policy. For those inclined to join me, just say no to:

Google search
Android phone
Chrome browser
Google Docs

and one I just learned -


Posted by JohnGalt at 10:47 AM | Comments (6)
But jk thinks:

Boycott is a big word: smaller than dirigible, but big.

I remain disturbed by Google, and I use many inferior and less popular platforms, not purposely but just because. I have had a Yahoo portal home page since Clinton was President. I like the photos on Bing® I moved The Virtual Coffeehouse to Vimeo in search of better audio and more control over player parameters (yet these require a "premium" membership which I let lapse).

This is another disappointment, but I cannot call this a boycottable offense. I believe in more trade more trade more trade and need steeper transgressions to stop.

Compounded that all the services you list are free. If I controlled an ad budget, I might ponder some punishment. But one fewer guy on GMail®? I dunno....

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2012 10:51 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Fewer people than that bought a Chevrolet Volt, and that was purportedly to "save the planet."

My disdain for Google is at least as much for their one-party loyalty as for the gun ban. I won't blacklist anyone who uses a Google product - I merely wanted to educate readers what the Google [lefties do know that it is a corporation, right?] is up to and what are the consequences of using their "free" stuff. Red pill/blue pill.

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2012 12:48 PM
But jk thinks:

No. Google, Apple and Target are good corporations. I'll never understand it if I live to be 100. I once watched a visiting sister-in-law cower in revulsion when I suggested Walmart* for something she needed. We drove a few extra miles to go to K-Mart. Ah, yes, K-Mart - the gentle savior of mankind. I internally reasoned that retailing is honorable if you completely suck at it.

My most anti-corporate niece (stiff competition) is the most Google obsessed person in existence. In fairness, she has turned me on to some cool Google stuff (their translation is light years beyond Yahoo or the old Alta Vista babblefish).

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2012 1:14 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Some years ago I read a piece by Robert Tracinski called "The Tall Poppy Syndrome." The premise is that any individual in a group that outpaces the pack becomes a target to be "cut down to size." This syndrome manifests in human behavior in places like employee unions. Also wherever government is involved such that "opportunity" can be "equalized."

Posted by: johngalt at July 2, 2012 3:07 PM
But Ellis Wyatt thinks:

Rand certainly described "The Tall Poppy Syndrome" well. It's practically the whole book...saddest is when Dan Conway gets his railroad seized. Creepiest is when Lillian Rearden talks about how when you have a powerful horse and you pull back on the reins (or something like that). The "Equalization of Opportunity" bill is already drafted in DC...

Posted by: Ellis Wyatt at July 2, 2012 3:22 PM
But jk thinks:

No doubt that is a part of it. But Apple? Google?

I laud both of those corporations for innovation, productivity and wealth creation. Yet both have a secretive side and habit of playing a bit loose with customer privacy. And are now #1 and #2 market cap in the world (that's from memory, correct if wrong). Starbucks bad, Target good.

It's almost as if these people are driven more by emotion than reason.

Posted by: jk at July 2, 2012 3:28 PM

June 5, 2012

Girls and Guns

I found this cool video on the Reason.com page while reading an article on liberty posted to Facebook by brother JK.

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:43 PM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2012

Archie Bunker

I don't hold the Norman Lear oeuvre in the esteem some people do. But I did an "Archie Bunker Call your Office" last week on the item at 2:08. I remembered this from my youth and have grown to suspect that Meathead’s father-in-law and Glenn Reynolds are correct.

Hat-tip: Don Surber

Posted by John Kranz at 1:17 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

The Hollywood template:

Stereotypical character: "People should be empowered to defend themselves."
Laugh track: 'hilarity'

Stereotypical character: "People should get what they pay for."
Laugh track: 'hilarity'

Stereotypical character: "If every culture is valuable then so is the western white anglo-saxon culture."
Laugh track: 'apoplexia'

And thus, "everybody knows" that these ideas are "stupid."

Posted by: johngalt at February 20, 2012 2:24 PM

February 15, 2012



Posted by John Kranz at 10:59 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

I can roll with this. Lovin' me that double-shot of Ted Nugent.

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 11:41 AM

February 14, 2012

Quote of the Day

[Prof. Glenn] Reynolds, a gun rights advocate, said that with a reported $32 billion total package of proposed airport fees and cuts, "for that kind of money, they could give every frequent flier a gun, which would do more to stop hijackings than the TSA clown show." -- Boston Herald
Archie Bunker, call your office!
Posted by John Kranz at 11:21 AM | Comments (2)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:


Posted by: Boulder Refugee at February 14, 2012 12:06 PM
But johngalt thinks:
"As long as it improves passenger safety," said Ben Herrick, an engineer from Boxboro, "I'm pretty much OK with it."


They don't need to "give" guns to anyone. Just repeal the misguided and paranoid prohibition of lawfully permitted concealed-carry extending into airports and aircraft. Americans are happy to buy their own guns.

But hey, doesn't the Constitution grant a "right" to gun ownership? Why are the most needy among us, particularly single moms, still denied "access?" The Democrats' War On Women(TM) must be stopped!

Posted by: johngalt at February 15, 2012 11:33 AM

Starbucks Buy-cott [Bumped]

I have a date on Valentine's Day. The lovely bride has agreed to sip a latte (rather an Atkins-friendlier super-dry-breve-cappuccino) with me to support our Second Amendment Rights.

No one put it better than Mike Crenshaw at the respected firearms forum found at www.thehighroad.org. A moderator who posts there as "hso," Mike sent the following message to Starbucks headquarters: "I've just heard that there's a planned boycott on Feb. 14 by anti-Second Amendment groups attempting to punish Starbucks for their decision to follow state and local law instead of changing company policy on law abiding customers carrying firearms legally. While I'm an occasional customer I'll make a point of doing my share to offset any business Starbucks may lose due to this proposed boycott. I'll see to it that my family and I are in Starbucks at least once on Feb. 14.Thank you for not caving in to the radical beliefs of a small vocal group of marginalized extremists."

It won't be easy, mind you, but my rights are sacrosanct and I'll step up when their defense is required!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:01 AM | Comments (14)
But dagny thinks:

We're still in. We just have to get up early enough to care for 11 horses, 3 dogs, 6 cats, and 3 children by 6:45. Never mind, scratch the cats, they're on their own. :-)

Posted by: dagny at February 13, 2012 8:19 PM
But jk thinks:

Yeah. 6:45, I will try to find pants.

Posted by: jk at February 13, 2012 9:01 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

I am so not the SB type, but I'll go in for something... probably kinda early. Near the SunFlower mkt near my place.

Posted by: nanobrewer at February 13, 2012 11:11 PM
But jk thinks:

Enormous fun. Everyone who missed should be vaguely disappointed

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 12:22 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, much fun!

P.S. We're determined to make it a monthly recurrence. Now taking suggestions for preferred day of week, monthly date, even convenient location. (I think CO 119 exit from I-25 has more available seating.) I think we should stick with Starbucks though - they've stuck with the 2nd Amendment after all. C'mon NB, a fresh brew is only a buck or two!

And 7 am seems like a good time to me (and my farmer's hours neighbors) since it precedes our commutes to far-flung places (like *cough* Boulder.)

Posted by: johngalt at February 14, 2012 2:46 PM
But jk thinks:

I'm in. Later in the week always equals fewer meetings for me. Thursday or Friday mornings rock. C-119 Starbucks works, especially if we could entice Northern neighbors.

Posted by: jk at February 14, 2012 3:18 PM

January 8, 2012

In the UK, guess who would have survived?

Sarah Dawn McKinley & her son or Justin Shane Martin? I want to shout this one from the rooftops.

Now taking nominations for re-branding the 2nd Ammendment: what was Sarah's son's name?

Posted by nanobrewer at 11:21 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

"Oh no, it's the wild, wild west. We can't just have people shooting people who break into their homes. Lawdy!" NED bless Oklahoma, the west, Sarah Dawn McKinley and John Browning.

This story is too important not to dwell on for as long as possible. Here's Doug Giles' telling of it.

None of the reports will include the name of a 3 month-old minor. We can just call it "The Sarah McKinley Amendment."

Posted by: johngalt at January 10, 2012 3:21 PM

December 29, 2011

No factual basis for that claim

Brother jg's beloved Denver Post was caught publishing phony numbers on children's firearm accidents. Centennial State freedom lover Ari Armstrong is on the case:

In their article for today's Denver Post, Joey Bunch and Kieran Nicholson claim, "More than 500 children in the United States die in gun accidents each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a 2007 report, which estimated 1.7 million children live in homes where guns are kept." However, there seems to be no factual basis for that claim.

The email exchange between Armstrong and the Post's Joey Bunch is a good read.

In related news, my equally beloved FOX31 Good Day Colorado peeps actually let a bit of free market capitalism spill out in today's show. The new guy (possible holiday substitute) on traffic reports suggested that on snowy days, drivers might consider using E-470 (toll road) as "they have more plows because they need to take care of their 'customers.'" MURRAY ROTHBARD, CALL YOUR OFFICE!!!

Posted by John Kranz at 10:56 AM | Comments (2)
But johngalt thinks:

This is great stuff. I'm inspired to do the same sort of fact checking on energy stories. Here's the Post's correction:

Editor's note: This story was corrected. Because of a reporting error, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics on fatal shooting accidents involving children in 2007 were overstated. The number of children under 18 was 112. Also, the story misstated the number of children believed to be living in homes with guns. A survey published in Pediatrics magazine indicated, with a 95 percent confidence level, that between 1.57-1.82 million children live in a home with loaded and unlocked guns.
Doing the math, 112/1.57 million = .000071 or .0071 percent. We all wish it were zero, of course, but this rate is below and roughly equal to the rate of unintentional fall deaths.

Moral of the story: Don't leave a cocked, locked and loaded 1911 where a child can find it - empty chamber is much safer, and don't have any firearms in the house without teaching gun safety to your kids.

Posted by: johngalt at December 29, 2011 12:14 PM
But jk thinks:

Our local dishrag pales in perfidy to the New York Times. D'ja see this? Insty roundup

Posted by: jk at December 29, 2011 12:56 PM

December 19, 2011

True Grit

A Facebook friend (in law enforcement) posted this.

Posted by John Kranz at 7:21 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

"Just a few days ago she learned how to shoot a rifle. 'I felt, proud of myself." Well said!

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 2:36 PM
But jk thinks:

The pink .22 -- I love it!

Posted by: jk at December 20, 2011 2:45 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Related: Last minute gift idea.

Posted by: johngalt at December 20, 2011 2:52 PM

December 8, 2011

BATFE So Eager to Exploit Illegal Gun Sales, It Arranged Them

CBS News has some commendable investigative reporting that includes emails between gun dealers and ATF agents:

ATF's group supervisor on Fast and Furious David Voth assures the gun dealer there's nothing to worry about. "We (ATF) are continually monitoring these suspects using a variety of investigative techniques which I cannot go into detail."

Two months later, the same gun dealer grew more agitated.

"I wanted to make sure that none of the firearms that were sold per our conversation with you and various ATF agents could or would ever end up south of the border or in the hands of the bad guys. I guess I am looking for a bit of reassurance that the guns are not getting south or in the wrong hands...I want to help ATF with its investigation but not at the risk of agents (sic) safety because I have some very close friends that are US Border Patrol agents in southern AZ as well as my concern for all the agents (sic) safety that protect our country."

"It's like ATF created or added to the problem so they could be the solution to it and pat themselves on the back," says one law enforcement source familiar with the facts. "It's a circular way of thinking."

For his part, Attorney General Holder says, "We do not know who the particular person was" who decided that "this flawed operation should be conducted."

Posted by JohnGalt at 2:42 PM | Comments (1)
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Here in my office building in Glendale, CA, I have the opportunity on a regular basis to share an elevator ride with BATFE members whose office is several floors below mine. And yes, I plead guilty to regularly baiting them.

About two weeks ago, one decided to strike up a conversation with a smartmouthed comment. So I responded with "so, how's that whole Gunwalker thing working out for you people?" Mr. BATFE got visibly angry and came back with "you don't know what the f**k you're talking about."

Based on the last week's worth of unraveling stories and today's hearings, I'm pretty sure I won that exchange.

Good times...

Posted by: Keith Arnold at December 8, 2011 6:17 PM

November 21, 2011

Review Corner

I will not provide a thorough review of Stephen King's 11/22/63. I spoke a bit about my trajectory with Mr. King and his works. But a coupl'a things.

First, Thomas Wolfe was right. You can never go home to an author after seven years away. It was fun and it was well written and I would not dissuade anybody from reading it. Yet I found myself ready for it to end. It takes a very important piece of fiction to capture my heart these days. (e.g., The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein) and the fun in this one did not last until the end. I gave it three stars.

Second, I must resolve my philosophical concerns without spoilers. Umbrage remained quiet for most of the rest of the book for me, but I will share something from the Afterword with all my Dear Readers. Devotees of King come to enjoy the Afterwords, usually addressing "Dear Readers" as much as the books. They are heartfelt and sweet. This one pissed me off.

King defends his harsh treatment of 1963 Dallas. I wasn't there. But he continues:

It's better today, but one still sees signs on Main Street saying HANDGUNS NOT ALLOWED IN THE BAR. This is an afterword, not an editorial, but I hold strong opinions on this subject, particularly given the current political climate of my country. If you want to know what political extremism can lead to, look at the Zapruder film. Take particular note of frame 313, where Kennedy's head explodes.

A legal carry in the state of Texas equals Lee Harvey Oswald assassinating the President. Got it.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:30 PM | Comments (8)
But jk thinks:

My favorite was always "The Talisman." Even he didn't like that one too much.

Posted by: jk at November 22, 2011 7:44 PM
But nanobrewer thinks:

My favorite was _Dead Zone_ for a number of personal reasons, but have to agree with my best friend that he's closer to hack than gifted genious. Kind of like the stopped clock being correct twice/day; how many books has he written?

_Firestarter_ (and others) was no doubt an effort to reclaim the magic (can't compare teh pub #'s but both were made into movies) and got kind of close.

@JK is spot on about "sharp, preachy left turn" - I think it's white guilt (aka, about unearned wealth) that spurs this affliction along.


Aside: JK likes Stein's "racing in the rain"?? I too was smitten; highly recommeneded to all

Posted by: nanobrewer at November 22, 2011 8:34 PM
But Lisa M thinks:

P.S. Reading Mamet's "The Secret Knowledge" right now and loving it.

Posted by: Lisa M at November 22, 2011 9:14 PM
But jk thinks:

I give early thanks for ThreeSourcers. You folks are awesome.

Being filled with the holiday spirit (or is that "full of it?") I am going to step into the breach and defend the best-selling, critically-acclaimed, multi-millionaire, part of the 1%, überpopular author.

1) Philosophy. King is a Yankee, a humanities guy, a man of letters, a child of the '60s, a celebrity, a one-percenter. Where in that litany do my friends see "conservative," "classical liberal," or "libertarian?" Of course he's going to be a lefty. 'Twould be a great surprise if he escaped, but none that he succumbed. I posit the existence of only five "conservative" novels. I promise to list them over the Thanksgiving holiday.

2) Chops. I must fulsomely disagree with my great friend, nb. King is our generation's Shakespeare. He writes things for the masses and is popular, but there is a great deal beneath it and a sparkling use of language. I used to hide his books at home and was sure to grab James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon as I went to the dentist or anywhere I would be seen. After "Different Seasons" I came out of the King closet. That is superb writing. Your list is great, I'd add a few peculiar but great ones like "Insomnia," "Pet Semetary," and "Tommyknockers."

No, I think he is the real deal. Pity he fell to the lefty nonsense that everybody else in his profession, age, and socio-economic group did.

Posted by: jk at November 23, 2011 11:30 AM
But jk thinks:

Yes, "The Art of Racing in the Rain." Blog friend sc recommended that when my sweet baby girl Skylark died. I have since bought it as a gift for everyone who loses a dog.

I cite it as the only piece of fiction that has captured me since my non-fiction kick. It is a masterpiece.

Posted by: jk at November 23, 2011 11:40 AM
But Lisa M thinks:

Yes! Different Seasons! Apt Pupil and The Body are fabulous stories. To that, I would also cite a short story from Skeleton Crew called "Mrs. Todd's Shortcut", Misery and Thinner (as Richard Bachman).

I agree with your assessment, jk, that it was inevitable and always apparent that King would lean left. However, considering a good portion of his early work is premised in a fundamental distrust of government (Firestarter leaps immediately to mind) it's more than a little contradictory, disappointing and annoying that he would so completely embrace today's big government style liberalism that the 60's anti-establishment, "don't trust anyone over 30" style liberalism has morphed into. I had counted on King to be more broad minded than that, and if he couldn't do that, he could at least have kept his views to himself instead of poisoning his work with it.

Posted by: Lisa M at November 23, 2011 6:54 PM

October 20, 2011

Some Risks are Worth Taking

Admitting that getting shot can "ruin your whole day," I would not stop going to the range with women in a low cut tops:

A Bristol police officer was shot by his girlfriend at an indoor shooting range in Piney Flats on Monday, and the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether the shooting was caused by "hot brass" falling down the woman’s shirt.

People get hurt in bowling alleys, you know.

Hat-tip: Insty

Posted by John Kranz at 6:23 PM | Comments (0)

August 2, 2011

Fifty Four Forty or Fight!

Sure, President Polk can start an expansionist war with a weak neighbor and steal their land and harbors. But he didn't have the cojones to take on Great Britain over the land that is rightfully ours! And now, look what's happened:

Canada recently rolled up some American citizens traveling to America on "gun smuggling" charges. Given the whole Gunrunner thing I guess it is reasonable for the Canucks to be concerned about American gun smuggling, but then again, the individuals involved were past retirement age so I doubt they were working for the ATF.

The two alleged smugglers -- both senior citizens with clean previous records -- had about a half dozen firearms. Now, I totally understand why one might want to bring guns through Canada in such a manner. Canada's procedure for legally declaring firearms other than certain hunting-type long arms in incredibly onerous. It takes literally months of previous preparation, and there is no guarantee that you'll get permission at all. Even declaring a firearm at the border -- while totally legit, say, a hunting shotgun -- is risky because it may increase the risk that you'll suffer the inconvenience of having your vehicle torn apart in a search for something.

Coulda driven right through "North Washington" with your full Second Amendment rights, but no...

Posted by John Kranz at 12:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2011

"Only Democrats can protect you from GOP extremists"

...or so the press would have us believe.

The internets are buzzing over the bombing and mass shooting in Norway that has now been confessed to by suspect Anders Behring Breivik. In a hysteria that surpasses that which surrounded the Jared Loughner murders, establishment media and left-wing bloggers are pouncing on the "facts" of this case for they appear to finally "prove" that TEA Partiers and other "right-wing extremists" are a threat to polite society.

The first print report I read was from MSNBC.com. "...police say suspect was right-wing Christian fundamentalist" reads the sub-head.

Breivik had belonged to an anti-immigration party and wrote blogs attacking multi-culturalism and Islam, but police said he had been unknown to them and that his Internet activity traced so far included no calls for violence.

A 1,500-page manifesto emerged that carried detailed planning for and direct references to an attack on the summer camp where most of the deaths occurred.

The warning to mistrust and beware of peaceful bloggers or anyone else who criticize illegal immigration, identity politics and any aspect of muslim political belief wears no veil whatsoever. Extra credit if said advocate happens to be Christian, or "right-wing."

Think I'm making this up? Think I'm overly sensitive or pointing out bogeymen? The same MSNBC article ends with a one-sentence paragraph:


Home-grown anti-government militants have struck elsewhere in the past, notably in the United States, where Timothy McVeigh killed 168 people with a truck bomb in Oklahoma City in 1995. [Boldface in original.]

So, you may be wondering, how do the press conclude that this nutjob is a "right-winger?" Partially from deputy police chief Roger Andresen's heavily modified quote:

"We have no more information than ... what has been found on (his) own websites, which is that is goes toward the right (wing) and that it is, so to speak, Christian fundamentalist." [Emphasis mine.]

But there is other evidence. The original MSNBC story hyperlinks a companion piece under the words "A 1,500-page manifesto emerged" wherein further detail is provided on the killer's "right-wing" and "anti-immigration" identity. The "right-wing zealot" "who liked guns and weight-lifting" was reportedly a member of Norway's Progress Party for a short time. While there's nothing cut-and-dry about European multi-party government the Progress Party is clearly not "right-wing Christian fundamentalist" as is being reported. The second largest party in Norway, it is a "conservative liberal" party, not to be confused with a liberal conservative party. My head spun with the various contradictory explanations and descriptions, but the most persuasive evidence to me about what ideas the European "Progress Party" holds came from the list of current conservative liberal parties around the world:

Andorra: Liberal Party of Andorra[2]

Argentina: Recreate for Growth

Austria: Alliance for the Future of Austria[2]

Belgium: Libertarian, Direct, Democratic[2]

Bulgaria: National Movement for Stability and Progress[2]

Colombia: Radical Change Party

Croatia: Croatian Social Liberal Party[2]

Czech Republic: Public Affairs[2]

Denmark: Liberal Party of Denmark[1][3][2]

Estonia: Estonian Reform Party

Faroe Islands: Union Party[2]

France: Civic Alliance for Democracy in Europe

Greenland: Feeling of Community[2]

Iceland: Liberal Party[2]

Japan: Your Party

Lithuania: Liberal and Centre Union[2], Liberals' Movement[2]

Moldova: Liberal Party[2]

Mongolia: Civil Will Party

Netherlands: People's Party for Freedom and Democracy[2]

Peru: Popular Action

Poland: Real Politics Union, Congress of the New Right

Romania: National Liberal Party

Slovakia: Freedom and Solidarity

Spain: Democratic Convergence of Catalonia, Majorcan Union

Thailand: Democrat Party

Uruguay: Liberal Party

[Emphasis mine.]

While not completely judging these folks by their titles they certainly don't carry any suggestion of individual rights or a limited, Republican form of government. Like Loughner and McVeigh before him, Breivik's anti-social extremism appears to emanate not from a profound respect for individual rights and limited government, but from the very cultural-identity politics, pitting the supposed interests of various groups against the others, so masterfully practiced on the left. But then the establishment media in the United States (and elsewhere) has indisputedly become quite cavalier when it comes to factual content in its journalistic product.

Posted by JohnGalt at 8:15 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I will not defend the lazy, incurious, and biased media organizations. But I will defend one of my favorite words.

"Liberal" as used in Ludwig von Mises's "Liberalism" screams individual rights and is most conducive to limited, Republican government. Sadly, the word has been perverted in this nation by lazy, incurious, and biased media organizations.

Posted by: jk at July 25, 2011 10:14 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Indeed. I do my small part to reclaim it by calling myself: Liberal, Classical Liberal.

The idea of "liberal conservative" seemed to describe me as well, until I researched this story.

Posted by: johngalt at July 25, 2011 12:35 PM
But jk thinks:

How about "Nazi?"

Posted by: jk at July 25, 2011 12:41 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Nazi could describe this guy. In fact, a friend posted about the story: "Great, the master race is back... I hope the Norweigans can do the right thing and end this idiot!"

Posted by: johngalt at July 25, 2011 2:29 PM

June 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

Guns are the spam filters of the physical world. -- Mises.org Facebook page
[Link goes to the article they were promoting, not the quote.]
Posted by John Kranz at 1:28 PM | Comments (0)

April 3, 2011

Chock Full of Gloaty Goodness

Somehow, Professor Reynolds finds time to teach and write law review articles in between posting like 300 entries on Instapundit every day.

I really enjoyed this one on the gains in Second Amendment rights from Heller and McDonald. It is completely accessible to the laity, yet provides some important insights.

Posted by John Kranz at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2011

Quote of the Day

The logic here may be even harder to follow than the reasoning that links the Tucson murders to Sarah Palin. A man bent on assassinating a member of Congress, a man who thinks nothing of gunning down a 9-year-old girl, is not likely to have compunctions about carrying a firearm without a permit.-- Jacob Sullum
Posted by John Kranz at 4:14 PM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Like the quote, but I thought it charitable to call him a "man." (I consider a being that is capable of his acts to be sub-human.) Then I thought it should read "maniac" or "irrational man." Then I imagined being asked if I "know for a fact" that he's irrational. I suppose I do, at least as much as I "know" he's a man.

Posted by: johngalt at January 13, 2011 4:28 PM

January 9, 2011

"America's Gun Culture," Driven by TEA Partiers, "Claims It's Latest Victims"

It was predictable that frustrated gun-grabbers would leap at the opportunity to villify handguns provided by the tragic shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and numerous bystanders yesterday. But they're making it a two-fer by blaming the TEA Party movement at the same time. The first such conclusive leap I saw was posted on the same day as the shooting - 'Lock and Load and Lost in Tucson Today: What's the Matter with My Arizona?' Wherin Jeff Biggers cites Gregory McNamee-

"What is clear to me, at this chaotic moment, is that no one should be surprised by this turn of events. The bullets that were fired in Tucson this morning are the logical extension of every bit of partisan hatred that came spewing out during the last election, in which Gabrielle Giffords---a centrist, representing well and faithfully a centrist district---was vilified and demonized as a socialist, a communist, a fascist, a job-killer, a traitor, and more.

Anyone who uttered such words or paid for them to be uttered has his or her name etched on those bullets."

And Biggers himself-

Now in Arizona--and the nation--do we have the courage and wisdom to deal with our gun laws? To stop the hatred from finding its all-too-easy expression through the barrel of the gun?

The Huffpo headlines are even more inflammatory today:

'Giffords Shooting Is an American Tragedy We Need to Urgently Address' by Paul Helmke (President, Brady Campaign)-

"While we are all still learning details about this shooting, and particularly the 22-year old responsible for this horrendous act, we should find it unacceptable that when Americans and our elected leaders are assembling in public places, their lives are at risk from gun violence."

'Congress Must Rein in Gun Industry in Response to Giffords Assassination Attempt' by Josh Sugarmann (Exec. Dir., Violence Policy Center)-

"America's gun culture claims its latest victims."


"If the attempted murder of one of their colleagues does not force Congress and President Obama to face the gun issue, what will?"

Perhaps worst of all is this, from former Colorado Senator Gary Hart who I have to believe truly knows better: 'Words Have Consequences'-

"Today we have seen the results of this rhetoric. (...) We all know that there are unstable and potentially dangerous people among us. To repeatedly appeal to their basest instincts is to invite and welcome their predictable violence.

So long as we all tolerate this kind of irresponsible and dangerous rhetoric (...) so long will we place all those in public life, whom the provocateurs dislike, in the crosshairs of danger.

That this is carried out, and often rewarded, in the name of the Constitution, democratic rights and liberties, and patriotism is a mockery of all this nation claims to believe and almost all of us continue to struggle to preserve. America is better than this."

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:03 PM | Comments (3)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

If Gifford is a "centrist" or "moderate," then what does "liberal" mean anymore? I shed no tears.

Leftists decry any availability of guns, but it's their desire for disarmament that made Gifford a sitting duck. If this had been a conservative gathering, the shooter had a 100% risk of leaving in a bodybag after firing just one bullet, and a high probability of getting blown away just for drawing his gun?

Killer's rants on a social network page, check. "Semi-automatic" weapon, check. "Extended clip," bonus! Innocent bystanders were killed, check. But the intended victim survived...

Getting "close" to Gifford, the killer still managed no more than a non-fatal head wound. This couldn't have been better for leftists if they had done it all themselves. And I wouldn't put it past them.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 9, 2011 2:28 PM
But johngalt thinks:

If we come to learn that the killer had a liberal political motivation I will be just as completely shocked as if he is proven to be a TEA Partier. The act was the sick manifestation of an incoherent mind.

You make an excellent point about conservative crowds though. If Giffords had attracted any such citizens to her event they might have stopped the shooter before he emptied his first magazine, at the very least. Perhaps she's not as centrist as some want to believe.

Posted by: johngalt at January 9, 2011 4:00 PM
But jk thinks:

Glenn Reynolds nails it in a guest WSJ editorial today:

To be clear, if you're using this event to criticize the "rhetoric" of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you're either: (a) asserting a connection between the "rhetoric" and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you're not, in which case you're just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?

Posted by: jk at January 10, 2011 10:32 AM

December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas

Brian Aitken is home. DId I mention Governor Christie is a total hoss? He is.

Hat-tip: Insty

UPDATE: And a couple clicks in, a shot at a QOTDIII:

The safest course for Christie is to let Aitken out without actually exonerating him. In other words, at the risk of sounding sizeist, Governor Awesome is having his cake and eating it too.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:58 PM | Comments (1)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

This will help Christie's bona fides with respect to gun owners, as he has expressed support for some gun control measures in the past.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at December 22, 2010 1:28 PM

October 1, 2010

Maybe a small donation?

The NRA recently spent its own money to send Ken Buck bumper stickers to its Colorado members.


Perhaps JG would now consider a small donation?

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:04 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Actually, I believe all of the NRAPVF money comes from donations so it's not really "its own money." Talk to me when, after endorsing and donating to the Markey campaign, they donate twice as much to the Cory Gardner campaign to defeat her.

Posted by: johngalt at October 1, 2010 2:38 PM

September 19, 2010


Remember this? Now there's more, but this time it hits closer to home. NRA casts in for Frazier, Markey, Salazar. Markey and Salazar, incumbent Democrats who voted for Obamacare and/or Stimulapalooza, signed on to a token pro-gun measure or two and are suddenly, in the NRA's view, pure as the wind-driven snow. But just how valuable is an NRA endorsement now, in post-TARP America?

The NRA also backs John Salazar in his bid to retain his 3rd Congressional District seat over state Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez. Salazar earned an "A" rating from the organization.

But Tipton shrugged off the endorsement, adding that the group almost always backs an incumbent unless the lawmaker is blatantly anti-gun.

"I am an NRA member and I've gotten an 'A' rating from them before," said Tipton, "so this is not a surprise."

So is the gun-control issue now firmly in the "safe" category as brother BR suggests, or is the NRA merely another member of the power elite cabal?

The easy part is that in either case they don't deserve my donations, or membership.


Former CO state senate majority leader Mark Hillman adds some details about the NRA Markey endorsement.

The NRA’s flim-flam press release touts her co-sponsorship — that’s Beltway speak for “honorary cheerleader” — of a bill that she knows will never come to a vote in a Democrat-controlled Congress.

On the Second Amendment, Markey is no profile in courage. Her two actual “pro-gun” votes were meaningless throwaways, cast to gain political cover (which the NRA is now slavishly providing) after the outcome of the vote was no longer in doubt.

He also shares my conclusion, at least in part:

When I cast my vote for Congress, it will be for the candidate I know I can count on. When I donate to groups that support my Second Amendment rights, it won’t be to the NRA.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:50 AM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

I think I'll agree with you and defend the NRA (squish!)

ObamaCare® and Simulapalooza® (like it) do not threaten gun rights and should not constitute a good reason to not endorse an incumbent. So you go right along kids -- have a good time.

But our liberty is clearly under greater threat from the SEIU than the Brady Campaign. As such I will direct my scarce advocacy resources accordingly.

I think the Club for Growth is the best deal in town these days. I will keep token memberships in the NRA and RNC but all my contributions will go directly to candidates or Club for Growth.

Posted by: jk at September 19, 2010 12:27 PM

July 27, 2010

Politics of the Second Amendment

Foxnew.com carries a interesting piece today about the politics of the Second Amendment and its impact on Democrats. In an earlier post, The Refugee had pointed out that many union members own guns; this article puts some numbers to that claim.

The whole articles is worth the read and excerpting it is difficult. Nevertheless:

"Gun ownership in the country amid labor unions folks runs from a low of 48% in California to a high of 60, 70, 80% in states like Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia. In the 2000 election, half of those union members had a firearm in their home voted for George Bush over Al Gore based on the gun issue and that cost Al Gore the presidency." [according to Wayle LaPierre, CEO of the NRA]

According to the center for responsive politics, a non-partisan group that tracks political spending, during the 2002 election cycle the NRA put 8% of their federal campaign contributions toward Democrats. This election cycle, they've received 26% percent.

This is no reason for most of us to vote for a Dem. However, to the extent that Democrats embrace the Second Amendment and we can put it into the - ahem - "safe" category, it is to the unalloyed good. The NRA's job is get pro-gun politicians elected. If both the Republican and the Democrat in a race are pro-gun, then they can't lose. After that, it allows the rest of us to focus our energy on fighting for other liberty-related issues.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 10:44 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

But if they can endorse a statist like Harry Reid because he carried their water then they're powerful enough that they don't need my wimpy contributions any longer.

Posted by: johngalt at July 28, 2010 9:50 PM

July 5, 2010

Et Tu NRA?

Two weeks ago JK lambasted, and I defended, [here and here] the NRA for their political calculus. This time even I say they're going too far. Word is, the NRA may soon endorse Nevada's Senator Harry Reid over his TPD Republican challenger, Sharron Angle.

Conservative Examiner reported previously that Wayne LaPierre's endorsement of Reid is a signal that the NRA as an organization is on the same page. And unless NRA members inundate the central offices of the organization to protest the pending endorsement, then the thing is a done deal.

Here's the text of my letter to the NRA this morning:

I have been an NRA member for at least 10 years. I have donated to NRA-ILA instead of to individual candidates. I have, several times, considered Life Membership. I heard a report today that the NRA is considering a "calculated" endorsement of Harry Reid over Sharron Angle in Nevada. I am vehmently opposed to such a calculation. The American people are tired of "holding their nose" to support candidates they don't like for some Machiavellian purpose. Sharron Angle stands for freedom and the Constitution, while Harry Reid is the opposite. If the NRA endorses Harry Reid then I will not renew my overdue membership. Respectfully, Eric Rinard.
Posted by JohnGalt at 11:10 AM | Comments (10)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I will agree with JG on another issue, however. That is, the NRA must not make Faustian bargains about the First Amendment. Tacit support for selective enforcement of the Constitution is exactly what the Left needs to bring down the Second Amendment. The NRA must stand by the Constitution, in whole and in part, in order to most effectively protect the Second Amendment.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 6, 2010 7:03 PM
But jk thinks:

Two days of all-day seminar. Man, I hate to miss the fun.

I still suggest that the LP remake itself based on the NRA. I did not educate myself with jg's link, but if Sen. Reid were good on guns, it would be appropriate and important to ignore party,

Posted by: jk at July 6, 2010 10:18 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, BR, it is the Faustian bargain of endorsing Reid to remain on his good side and "help the organization to remain viable and strong" that I object to, on the basis that Reid is a proven enemy to the Constitution and most of the other amendments.

What good is an individual right to own guns when the very concept of individuality is at risk?

Posted by: johngalt at July 7, 2010 2:37 PM
But Keith Arnold thinks:

Endorsing Reid to remain on his good side? Sounds a lot like being nice to a hungry wolf, in hopes that he'll eat you last. Chamberlain's tactic at Munich, seen through to the end, might have ensured Britain would be the last to be annexed into the Reich - but in the end, annexed nonetheless.

I duly repent of my comment on single-issue groups. What I should have written was "therein lies the danger in *slavishly following* single-issue advocacy groups to tell me how to vote."

Posted by: Keith Arnold at July 7, 2010 2:58 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

I certainly would not support the move, but I don't think it has nearly the sinister motives that you guys seem to imply.

JG, you're position seems similar to the one Reason magazine took in bashing McCain by 3:1 compared to Obama because McCain was not Libertarian enough. Now, we have Obama, Obamacare, Sotamayor and Kagen (soon). If you oppose the NRA, or fail to support it as Reason did McCain, then the next time there is a Columbine-like shooting (and there will be one, humans beings what they are) you're going to get Handgun Control Inc. calling shots [sorry].

The NRA is going to endorse hundreds of conservative Republicans from local to national races and spend millions to get them elected. Yes, they may endorse a few Dems (and maybe ones we don't like), but on balance gun ownership will not survive without them.

BTW, my Faustian deal referred to their First Amendment compromise with Chuck Schumer, not the endorsement of Reid. The Schumer deal troubles me far more than the Reid situation.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at July 7, 2010 8:33 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Good perspectives, BR. I'll think them over. I suspect a lot of what the NRA does falls under the heading "sausage making" which is difficult work for idealists. I'm just not sure that opposing Harry Reid, lock stock and barrel, is an idealistic venture.

Posted by: johngalt at July 8, 2010 11:54 AM

June 28, 2010

McDonald v Chicago

John Stossel had Otis McDonald and Alan Gura on his show last week. Today he celebrates their victory.

UPDATE, 2:30 pm: A lawyer who argued the case, Alan Gura, tells me, “This is a fantastic day for freedom in America. This is going to save lives. This decision is good nationwide... People will be able to rest easily knowing they can access firearms if they need to defend themselves.”

Otis McDonald tells me he plans to have a handgun in his home as soon as he can: “I have a handgun, but it’s out-of-state. As soon as I get the paperwork straightened out, I’ll bring it in.”

I'd've loved to see a Privileges and Immunities victory as much as the next guy, But a win is a win. And 14th Amendment incorporation, while voodoo to me, might be valuable against different types of political districts claiming special jurisdiction.

A fantastic day, indeed.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:45 PM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2010

Those Were the Days

Now that's respecting the Second Amendment!


Hat-tip: my biological brother via email. This was the first of a set that includes smoking Olympians, subservient wives, and African American butlers. Holler if you want me to forward the email.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:29 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Ah yes, those were the days when lawyers were as rare as honest politicians.

Posted by: johngalt at June 24, 2010 2:53 PM

June 23, 2010

Not Quite a Convenience Store

But the next best thing:

Colorado's Independence Institute Announces 8th Annual Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms Party, Featuring Nick Gillespie

Posted by John Kranz at 5:47 PM | Comments (0)

June 18, 2010

The NRA and DISCLOSE, Reload.

Kim Strassel comes out tough on the NRA's capitulation in the DISCLOSE act.

As for the bill itself, even some Democrats have admitted it is likely unconstitutional. But the goal here isn't lasting legislation. The goal is to have this in place for this midterm election, when Democrats are at a low point, and when an empowered union base and a silenced corporate presence could make the difference between keeping the House and losing it. If the Supreme Court strikes it down after that, so be it. Cynicism at its finest.

The NRA's worst nightmare is that the courts strike down its blatant carveout and leave other parts of the bill intact. The group would then get to live under the same restrictions it helped imposed on the rest of the country. Until then, the organization can wake up each morning knowing it handed a bazooka to the unions that exist to elect Democrats who oppose everything it believes in. Some deal.

I added a comment to our previous discussion: word is, the Speaker is pulling the bill. While that is certainly the best outcome for those who love liberty, I remain disturbed by the NRA's actions. According to Gene Healy and Ilya Somin, the organization was a hindrance to the lawyers' pushing for certiorari on DC v Heller and have likewise not been onboard for McDonald v Chicago. My first thoughts were "fair enough, they thought the timing was wrong and we all miss one now and then." (I saw a Tweet yesterday of a guy who published a buy recommendation for BP on April 20 -- oopsie.)

But now I am becoming more concerned that the NRA is more concerned about preserving the NRA than our Second Amendment rights. Harsh words from a guy who wants to disband the Libertarian Party and remodel it after the NRA. Their model is correct but their institutionalism frightens. And how much junk mail can you send? (Okay, that's piling on...)

Posted by John Kranz at 11:22 AM | Comments (5)
But johngalt thinks:

Washington Examiner's Timothy P. Carney sez 'NRA Isn't the Villain in the Free-Speech Fight.'

The NRA's objection derailed the bill just before it was expected to pass.
So the NRA lobbyists were now faced with a bill that neither regulated guns nor regulated the NRA. Just as the NRA doesn't take a position on cap-and-trade measures or abortion bills, it decided it wouldn't take a position on the DISCLOSE Act.
The right exploded in anger. Other nonprofits felt abandoned. Some NRA board members felt betrayed. The conservative rank-and-file felt an ally had behaved selfishly to the detriment of the movement.
But the center-right is not some monolithic force with identical interests. The Chamber of Commerce supported the stimulus and cash for clunkers. National Right to Life didn't oppose the House health care bill. ATR was silent on the partial-birth abortion bill.

Kim Strassel painted the NRA as willing participants in the carve out, but Carney credits congressional democrats' fear of doing battle with the NRA.

Posted by: johngalt at June 18, 2010 2:29 PM
But jk thinks:

More information is always better. But I was going to point out that the NRA statement linked to was still pusillanimous.

But the article you linked says it better -- may I add an excerpt?

But even faced with these valid arguments the NRA's walking away from this fight is hard to swallow. As NRA board member Cleta Mitchell puts it, the First Amendment is a principle, not merely an issue.

Also, Van Hollen's deal is so clearly unfair, and the NRA, by dropping its objection to the bill, is indirectly using unfair means to protect gun rights.

NRA lobbyists say they are just looking out for their members. In this case, that means abandoning friends.

Posted by: jk at June 18, 2010 5:23 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I saw those qualifiers too. Let me answer them in order:

The NRA solicits contributions for protecting the Second Amendment. Not being a government agency, their funds are not limitless.

This is a stretch. Everyone who doesn't oppose a bill is therefore in favor of it?

I venture to guess there have been far more times when First Amendment advocates kept their powder dry during a Second Amendment throwdown.

I say this is a tempest in a teapot. "Hey, all you "conservative" groups... did you notice that the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress are systematically dismantling the Constitutional Republic?" Maybe we should concentrate on something else.

Posted by: johngalt at June 18, 2010 7:35 PM
But jk thinks:

All good. JK bends to JG's logic and reason. Next topic. (Although you should ask about the junk mail next time you're in a directors' meeting.)

Posted by: jk at June 18, 2010 8:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

I have it on good authority that we get dirt cheap rates on that targeted bulk mail, and the money we raise through badgering more than makes up for it. (Besides, without junk mail imagine how many postal workers would be looking for work with unmarketable job skills.)

Posted by: johngalt at June 18, 2010 9:42 PM

June 17, 2010

Free Speech for Me, Not for Thee

Now it is my conservative buddies on Facebook (yes, I have two or three), beating up on The NRA.

In shades of blog friend TG's "instrument versus institution" I am disappointed to see this fine and important organization choose self-preservation and aggrandizement over liberty. It's statement does little to assuage.

On June 14, 2010, Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pledged that H.R. 5175 would be amended to exempt groups like the NRA, that meet certain criteria, from its onerous restrictions on political speech. As a result, and as long as that remains the case, the NRA will not be involved in final consideration of the House bill.

The NRA cannot defend the Second Amendment from the attacks we face in the local, state, federal, international and judicial arenas without the ability to speak. We will not allow ourselves to be silenced while the national news media, politicians and others are allowed to attack us freely.

The NRA will continue to fight for its right to speak out in defense of the Second Amendment. Any efforts to silence the political speech of NRA members will, as has been the case in the past, be met with strong opposition.

I know the NRA has some staunch defenders around these parts and I am all ears to contrasting opinions. But they folded on the DISCLOSE Act because they got a special exemption.

This will make them, not only the premier but really the only 2nd Amendment defense organization of consequence. As we've seen in their missteps in the McDonald and Heller cases, that will not do.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:43 AM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

I don't know any more about this than what you've written but let me just throw out a consideration of perspective. In cases of emergency one is forced to choose and to act in ways he might not otherwise do. The confluence of the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress most certainly constitute an emergency "of the first proportion."

Posted by: johngalt at June 17, 2010 3:09 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

One might say that you can't fight every battle, but even as a big proponent of the NRA, I won't give them a pass on this one. The NRA defends the Second Amendment by using the First. They have to protect both.

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at June 18, 2010 9:12 AM
But jk thinks:

Hopefully moot? Pelosi pulls the bill.

It still remains that they were AWOL on freedom. Well said, Brother BR!

Posted by: jk at June 18, 2010 10:48 AM

April 28, 2010


I've been struggling with a private, personal issue, which I feel makes me an outcast in polite society. I long for the day when I can freely express my true nature in public without fear of recrimination or ridicule. Unfortunately, it looks like that day has not yet arrived.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Open Carrier Discrimination
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Hat tip: OpenCarry.org

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:27 PM | Comments (4)
But jk thinks:

I have been watching a lot of Jon Stewart lately. I applauded his defense of Trey and Parker, my bro-in-law put a long clip on Facebook of his fighting Bernie Goldberg and FOX News. This.

Man, I just do not find the guy funny. His gags are slow and predictable. The audience eats up his ironic stare. But I remain impervious to he charms.

Posted by: jk at April 28, 2010 5:28 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Here's a hint for that idiot woman: if you have time to notice the gun and wonder if he's there to shoot you, you're safe. He'd have shot you already if he wanted!

And the reason they walked around without encountering a robbery is two-fold. First, robberies are infrequent, but "Better to have a gun and not need it, than to need it and not have one." Second, had there been a robber, only a suicidal one would have tried something. Shooters like gun-free zones like schools, churches and LAX.

The friend in Utah whom I've mentioned has started carrying openly, even in grocery stores. Would his .40 stay in the holster on his hip if he had bad intentions? Would a robber want to try something if he knew that he could be picked off from behind?

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." - the bitter extremist (and traitor) Thomas Jefferson

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 28, 2010 8:46 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

Don't know about you fellas, but I feel much safer when I can see who has a gun and who doesn't. Laws that force people to conceal their guns are nonsensical on so many levels....

Posted by: T. Greer at April 29, 2010 1:48 AM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Actually, it's where people can carry concealed weapons that they're safest. A would-be criminal could be among 100 people without a visible weapon in sight, but for all he knows, the person next to him is armed.

Forcing concealed carry is immoral. People should be free to carry openly or concealed.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 29, 2010 1:54 PM

January 4, 2010

Second Amendment Rights, NBA Edition


Words fail even worse, NBA edition. Washington Wizards (formerly Bullets) player Gilbert Arenas reportedly could lose a $100 million contract as the result of bringing guns (plural) into the locker room in a city where possession of them is as illegal as it is here in NYC -- and then deciding to threaten teammate Javaris Crittenton with one, rather than pay off on a bet ... only to have Crittenton draw his own gun in return!

This is post-Plaxico, no less. When members of a local NBA team were asked for comment, "Nets say 3 out of 4 players pack heat"..

I was in a band where the guys would threaten each other with guns at rehearsals. That probably set back my appreciation for the Second Amendment by ten years.

UPDATES: Taranto adds: "This is almost as embarrassing to the Wizards as their record, although perhaps they'll make a virtue of necessity and embrace the tough-guy image. They could even change the team name to something firearm-related--say, the Washington Bullets."

Posted by John Kranz at 1:31 PM | Comments (3)
But johngalt thinks:

Where guns are outlawed only outlaws and pro athletes have guns.

Posted by: johngalt at January 4, 2010 2:30 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Let me guess - machine guns in violin cases?

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at January 4, 2010 2:58 PM
But jk thinks:

Singers with semi-automatics actually. We played at some bad addresses and they were always surprised that I was not packing. But these guys were not really models for firearm safety.

Posted by: jk at January 4, 2010 4:58 PM

December 10, 2009

Motivational Poster

One of a bunch of good "motivational posters" I received by email from a good blog friend (one of our token lib-er-alls, no less). Holler if you want the whole mail:


Posted by John Kranz at 11:26 AM | Comments (1)
But Keith thinks:

Sweet. Heck yes, I'd love it.

By the way, it would be even sweeter if it included the replacement upper that modifies it into the .50 Beowulf. I wonder if I can find someone well-versed in Photoshop who can shoehorn that in.


Posted by: Keith at December 10, 2009 11:53 AM

July 10, 2009

Thank You, Mr President

Eric Raymond:

Americans are still out there eight months later buying firearms like mad - and I think this can be nothing but good in the longer term. Let me count the ways:

1. More firearms in civilian hands means a larger constituency to oppose restrictive firearms laws and regulations.

2. More firearms in civilian hands means more people carrying concealed, depressing crime rates.

3. More firearms in civilian hands means the balance of coercive power shifts in favor of the people and against government, making some of our nastier potential futures just that much less likely.

4. Higher demand means more firearms-manufacturing capacity in the future, leading to lower prices and a likelihood that the previous three virtuous effects will be sustained.

My most serious concern about this situation is that the manufacturers might overinvest themselves into a capacity glut and get badly hammered when and if the market saturates. But that’s a worry for another day.

Thank you, Barack Obama. You didn’t intend this good result, but then I suspect that pretty much all of whatever little good you end up doing will have been unintentional. I’m grateful for it anyway.

Posted by AlexC at 9:54 AM | Comments (0)

April 2, 2009

The 90% Myth

Blog Brother TG has quoted the statistic that 90% of guns used by Mexican gangs come from the US. The Refugee has expressed strong reservations about the validitiy of these statistics. The truth is now out. A recent report that analyzed the source of these statistics found that of the guns that were traced, 90% came from the US. Since the US can trace guns by serial number and Mexico cannot (or does not), it's not surprising that the number is 90%. In fact, it is surprising that it's not 100% given the selective sample. The full truth is that when you consider all guns recovered by the Mexican government, only 17% can be traced to a US source.

In 2007-2008, according to ATF Special Agent William Newell, Mexico submitted 11,000 guns to the ATF for tracing. Close to 6,000 were successfully traced -- and of those, 90 percent -- 5,114 to be exact, according to testimony in Congress by William Hoover -- were found to have come from the U.S.

But in those same two years, according to the Mexican government, 29,000 guns were recovered at crime scenes.

In other words, 68 percent of the guns that were recovered were never submitted for tracing. And when you weed out the roughly 6,000 guns that could not be traced from the remaining 32 percent, it means 83 percent of the guns found at crime scenes in Mexico could not be traced to the U.S.

The Refugee had further speculated that most arms came from South America or China. Here are the facts:

So, if not from the U.S., where do they come from? There are a variety of sources:

-- The Black Market. Mexico is a virtual arms bazaar, with fragmentation grenades from South Korea, AK-47s from China, and shoulder-fired rocket launchers from Spain, Israel and former Soviet bloc manufacturers.

-- Russian crime organizations. Interpol says Russian Mafia groups such as Poldolskaya and Moscow-based Solntsevskaya are actively trafficking drugs and arms in Mexico.

- South America. During the late 1990s, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) established a clandestine arms smuggling and drug trafficking partnership with the Tijuana cartel, according to the Federal Research Division report from the Library of Congress.

-- Asia. According to a 2006 Amnesty International Report, China has provided arms to countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Chinese assault weapons and Korean explosives have been recovered in Mexico.

-- The Mexican Army. More than 150,000 soldiers deserted in the last six years, according to Mexican Congressman Robert Badillo. Many took their weapons with them, including the standard issue M-16 assault rifle made in Belgium.

-- Guatemala. U.S. intelligence agencies say traffickers move immigrants, stolen cars, guns and drugs, including most of Americas cocaine, along the porous Mexican-Guatemalan border. On March 27, La Hora, a Guatemalan newspaper, reported that police seized 500 grenades and a load of AK-47s on the border. Police say the cache was transported by a Mexican drug cartel operating out of Ixcan, a border town.

If past history is an indication of future political performance, The Left will continue to quote this statistic even though it has now been exposed as a partial truth. It will continue to be their justification for gutting the Second Amendment.

Posted by Boulder Refugee at 11:03 AM | Comments (5)
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Here is another great article regarding the administration's use of the issue for policitical purposes:


Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 11:31 AM
But T. Greer thinks:

Ouch. I will admit it- I did not think about the distinction between guns captured and guns traced. That was a mistake on my part and kudos to you for calling me on it.

However, the article did prompt a thought that has never occurred to me before: do we know how representative the guns we have captured are of the population as a whole? I mean, you can hardly call the guns we have a simple random sample. Do you think it is possible that there is an overrepresentation of American guns (or for that matter, any type of weapon) due to detainment methods, size of smuggling operations, etc.?

I will have to think about this a bit more.

Posted by: T. Greer at April 2, 2009 12:03 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Thank you, thank you, thank you BR. I saw the report this morning and your post was more thorough than the one I intended.

Most of us "knew" the 90% statistic was bull, and now all of us who don't deny the existence of reason actually know it was bull.

The only thing that surprised me about the original narrative was that the figure was 90% instead of the infamous Obama figure of proportion: 95 percent. (Curiously, that figure is the same one used in the old Beatles song 'Taxman.'

Let me tell you how it will be, There’s one for you, nineteen for me, ‘Cos I’m the Taxman, Yeah, I’m the Taxman. Should five per cent appear too small, Be thankful I don’t take it all.
Posted by: johngalt at April 2, 2009 12:52 PM
But Boulder Refugee thinks:

Hmmm, good point, TG, and there's probably no way to know. I would speculate that the guns we are aware of are the result of some US/Mexican cooperative operation perhaps within some proximity of the border. To the extent that Mexico operate independently (i.e., in the south of the country) and therefore does not report to the US would skew the statistics. We also do not know to what degree confiscated weapons are recycled back to the cartels due to corruption.

The most disturbing element to me was the degree to which M16s are sold legitimately to the Mexican army (and therefore with US serial numbers) and then stolen by defectors. These are fully automatic weapons (semi-automatic models of the same weapon would be designated as AR-15s and are available for civilian sale in the US, whereas M16s are military/police only).

Posted by: Boulder Refugee at April 2, 2009 1:04 PM
But T. Greer thinks:

You have hit on just what makes events down in Mexico so scary. We are not dealing with a bunch of the poor kids from Monterrey who have taken up gun-running in order to get a scrap to eat. In the worst cases, you have Mexican special ops officers switching over to the more lucrative (and in many case, more secure) job as a cartel hit men. Take Los Zetas, a gang President Caldeon has compared to Al Qaeda- the back bone of the gang are gafes (the Mexican equivalent to Green Berets) who received training from U.S. and Israeli special forcs before they deserted. Extremely competent, these gangs thin the ranks of the Mexican military brass and run their own terror training camps with impunity.

Or to put things in a slightly different perspective- how long would most city governments last if the Bloods and Crips you always hear about were organized and staffed by defected Marines wielding the weapons and tactics they used in the Corp?

Posted by: T. Greer at April 4, 2009 11:18 PM

October 26, 2008

Weather Underground: Kill the "die hard capitalists"

From LGF: Bill Ayers' Terrorist Group Discussed Genocide of Americans (includes video)

Quoting Larry Grathwohl, an FBI informant and member of the Weather Underground, in a 1982 documentary on the group:

"I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people.

And they were dead serious."

I wonder if McPalin's last week of TV ads will include anything from this list. Though I suspect it may require pictures of Obama and Ayers building pipe bombs together to get through to some people.

Hat tip: Blog brother Cyrano

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:39 AM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Population planning, from abortion to forced sterilization, has always been part of the liberal/collectivist agenda.

"In order to stabilize world populations, we must eliminate three hundred and fifty thousand people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not to say it." No one batted an eye when Jacques Cousteau said this completely contemptuous thing.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at October 26, 2008 2:23 PM

July 23, 2008

Letter to a Young Lefty

A family member (uh-oh) sends a link to a short New Yorker piece on Senator Obama's "Flip Flops." The Flop of the Flip has been the buzz in my family. I wondered whether the far lefties who share my parents (maybe they're adopted...) were disturbed by the Senator’s move to the center, "At this rate," I told my brother, "by election day he will be calling Phil Gramm a Communist and calling for privatizing the Post Office."

A niece caught up on the thread and asked what I thought of Hertzberg's New Yorker piece. It's a pretty sympathetic scoring of Senator Obama's post-primary changes As I said in the thread, the flip flop accusation is overblown and overused. But it is curious that an unknown quantity like the Junior Senator from Illinois cannot define himself more forcefully on his signature issues. But I am not going to not vote for him because he changes positions -- I will not vote for him because most of his positions are so bad.

The article enumerated each supposed flip flop and scored it. I was interested in his views on NAFTA (which did not merit a mention) and on DC v. Heller. Here is Hertzberg, writing to the New Yorker faithful, on SOF2 (Senator Obama's Flip Flop) on the District of Columbia gun ban:

For twenty years, nominal support for the death penalty and its partner in crime, “gun rights,” has apparently been mandatory for any Democrat wishing to have a serious chance to be elected President.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Had he worked in support for child labor, and maybe blood-libel, I think we'd be talking Pulitzer! I'm working on my response. It happens that even the Republicans in my family are pretty squeamish on guns. I have to be careful not to overstep. I'm thinking of:

Dearest Babbolooshka,

I know you don’t get to hang out with a lot of liberty minded people, but let me say one thing – and I bet about all the 9% that make up the liberty voters will agree. To lump in capital punishment with "gun rights" -- scare quoted or not -- is inappropriate and sloppy.

1. The right to bear arms is stated explicitly in the Constitution and it exists as a protector to all of our other rights. I will steal a great line I read last week: "I will use my Second Amendment rights to defend Mr. Hertzberg's First Amendment rights, even though he will not use his First Amendment rights to defend my Second Amendment rights."

2. Support for capital punishment is individual and subjective. Most libertarians do not trust the government to wield such power. I personally feel that there are sufficient protections and appeal opportunities afforded to defendants that it should continue in states that choose to allow it. I'm not an enthusiastic supporter of capital punishment by any means, and the people I know cover the whole spectrum. I have no serious opinion on Kennedy v. Louisiana.

I could not consider anybody to be liberty minded who did not support gun rights, yet even my squishy support of capital punishment pushes me toward the conservative and populist regions of the right, and would get me kicked out of any good libertarian gathering.

A free person does not look to the state to be the ultimate protector of his life, property, and liberty. Societies that do not trust a citizen with force are societies that operate in loco partentis. Government is not my mommy, and I like the idea that -- should they try to take away any of the rights we possess -- they will have to take them from millions of armed citizens. I am extremely cool with that. I saw a great bumper sticker many moons ago that said "The 2nd Amendment Ain't About Duck Hunting." I had to grow into an understanding of that.

DC v. Heller was the first substantive reading of the Second Amendment since the bill of rights was passed. The decision was of extreme interest to the liberty minded, and the opinion of a man who calls himself a law professor, who may well nominate several people to the Supreme Court is not Briefs vs. Boxers. A guy I blog with would vote for the Devil to head up a health care panel if he could demonstrate sufficient support for gun rights.

Senator Obama's changing and conflicting answers betray that this is an issue he'd like to see go away. He is not willing to take a stand on an important civil rights issue. That's a "substantive tweak" to Herzberg, but that's a flip flop to me.

Posted by John Kranz at 8:32 AM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2008

Somewhat Sanguine on 2nd Amendment

The WSJ Ed Page channels blog brother JohnGalt today. The lead editorial on Heller highlights that the decision was 5-4, and the editorial pummels the (il)logic of the minority.

Which makes it all the more troubling that no less than four Justices were willing to explain this right away. These are the same four liberal Justices who routinely invoke the "right to privacy" – which is nowhere in the text of the Constitution – as a justification for asserting various social rights. Yet in his dissent, Justice John Paul Stevens argues that a right to bear arms that is plainly in the text adheres to an individual only if he is sanctioned by government.

Yeah, President Obama may appoint three justices, and it is unlikely he'll extend his candidate search to the NRA legal team.


But as a guy who has lost a lot of 5-4 decisions of late, I invite my friends to enjoy a few days of celebration. A 5-4 decision is still a decision, it is still precedent. Overturning it will require the composition of the court changing and a new case getting Certiorari. The current rate of Second Amendment cases is one every 217 years.

The Democrats have seen electoral success with pro-gun (and silently anti-gun) candidates. Most are glad that Heller takes the issue off the table this season and I don't know that many Democrats will want to bring it back.

I'd have loved a 7-2 (like Dred Scott v Sandford) that eviscerated gun laws. But it looks to these untrained legal eyes that we got a good precedent that asserted an individual right to bear arms. Don't cancel your NRA membership or vote Democratic or anything stupid, kids -- but don't search for the dark cloud.

Posted by John Kranz at 10:51 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Anyone who thinks an individual right to lawful gun ownership isn't important in this, the "modern" age need look only as far as current events in Rhodesia (or as black liberation theologists call it: Zimbabwe) where only agents of the government have guns and use such to visit terrible evil upon the citizenry.

Bald-faced fraud and corruption find safe haven from even a free press when those whose interest is most threatened - the citizens of a tyrannized land - have not the means to self defense. The only reason why American pollyanists can make meaningless proclamations such as "it can't happen here" is that for the past 217 years and now, for the foreseeable future, the willing and able citizens of this land are not disarmed.

Posted by: johngalt at June 27, 2008 6:04 PM

June 26, 2008

Heller Yes!

Good to have this headline at the top of my Yahoo portal page this morning:

Supreme Court says Americans have right to guns

Posted by John Kranz at 10:45 AM | Comments (1)
But johngalt thinks:

Scalia writes:

"There seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms," Scalia said.


In Thursday's decision, the majority justices agreed with Heller's reading. "Does the preface fit with an operative clause that creates an individual right to keep and bear arms?" Scalia asked in his opinion. "It fits perfectly, once one knows the history that the founding generation knew," he said.

"That history showed that the way tyrants had eliminated a militia consisting of all the able-bodied men was not by banning the militia but simply by taking away the people's arms," he wrote.

The frightening part of this ruling is how close it came to going the other way - Justice Anthony Kennedy's mood of the moment. Had he stumbled we'd be facing the end of the land of the free and home of the brave as we know it, at least in law. Add to this that the Federal appeals court that sent the case to the higher court did so by a 2-1 decision and you might, like I, resolve to make frequent and generous contributions to NRA lobbyists.

Posted by: johngalt at June 26, 2008 3:53 PM

June 23, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I have a Smith & Wesson .40-caliber," Carrington told reporters on Sunday, "(with a) silver top and black body." -- Miss Tennessee, Ellen Carrington
Y'know, if they were add to a tight grouping competition at 100 yards in evening wear, I might tune in.

Hat-tip: Instapundit (like the geography didn't give it away)

Posted by John Kranz at 3:58 PM | Comments (2)
But dagny thinks:

100 yards? Make it 20 yards and I might join in.

Posted by: dagny at June 24, 2008 1:51 AM
But jk thinks:

I don't know from personal experience, but I was thinking that high heels would give you a little better visibility and enable a deeper field. We'll let the rules committee sort it out: perhaps rifles in eveningwear, pistols at close range in swimsuits.

Posted by: jk at June 24, 2008 11:38 AM

June 4, 2008

Future NRA President?

Jonathan Pearce at Samizdata suggests "If the NRA wants a replacement for its former figurehead, Charlton Heston, they could do a lot worse than Ms Jolie." After he links to this:

The pregnant mother of four told the U.K.'s Daily Mail that she owns guns similar to the ones she used in "Tomb Raider." Jolie and partner Brad Pitt are not against having weapons in their house for security reasons, she says.

"If anybody comes into my home and tries to hurt my kids, I've no problem shooting them," she said.

Gratuitous picture (stolen from Actress Archives):


UPDATE: Let the record show that I beat Insty to this story by two minutes (1:47 to 1:49) and that I included a picture. Yet still he gets more traffic...

UPDATE II: An emailer points out that I don't post a gratuitous picture of Fed Chair Ben Bernanke when I talk about him. If I could find a nice pouty one like this, maybe I would...

Posted by John Kranz at 1:47 PM | Comments (1)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

Now *that* makes her worthy of those "Sexiest Woman" titles. (Note that I referred to titles, not that she actually is, because that of course is my fiancee.)

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 5, 2008 1:13 PM

April 6, 2008

Death of a President

Charlton Heston was a president; he was MY President. As figurehead of the NRA he said what members of America's gun culture wanted to say to those who blamed them for the crimes of others:

“Mr. Clinton, sir, America didn’t trust you with our health care system. America didn’t trust you with gays in the military. America doesn’t trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don’t trust you with our guns.”

Last night this American icon passed away. Rest in peace, and give my best to John Wayne and Ronald Reagan. May there be new cowboys born today to replace you.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:12 AM | Comments (3)
But AlexC thinks:


I joined the NRA when Mr Heston was elected, and just recently did I finish the last installment of my life-membership.

Rest in Peace, Sir.

Posted by: AlexC at April 6, 2008 12:19 PM
But jk thinks:

"Oh Captain, my Captain!" Heston his supporters should take great comfort in the advancement of rights during his tenure.

Gun control forces have been in political retreat for a decade, and with a good decision in Heller, might make huge advancements before President Obama tries to dismantle them.

Posted by: jk at April 6, 2008 12:43 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

And Clinton never took his guns from his cold, dead hands.

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at April 8, 2008 8:14 PM

March 31, 2008


My UK friends love to tease me about America's wicked gun culture. They'll be up on the latest Michael Moore stats. A friend who worked there for several years has a daughter who is afraid to visit the states.

I love Britain, cradle of liberty and all, but they, and my friends, and my friend's daughter purposefully miss one important crime statistic: the slope of the curve. In the UK, crime is escalating. While they lack the dramatic gang drive-bys, the risk of being beat up for your mobile phone climbs higher each year.

They have effectively disarmed the populace and convinced Britons that their personal safety and property rights will be attended to by the state. The state lacks the resources and the will to provide it. So the advice is to "not go out." I'm a big fan of Theodore Dalrymple and recommend his "Life at the Bottom." I was prepared to think that he was a little over the top in his storytelling, and that he was reporting from the worst areas in Britain.

Samizdata relates a couple personal stories and links to a TIME magazine article on Britain's Mean Streets.

The 40-year-old heads his own company advising on mergers and acquisitions, and usually strides through life like a Master of the Universe. This evening, though, he looks shaken. Two days earlier, he was accosted outside his central London home by eight kids — the youngest was 11 — who punched him to the ground, hustled him to the nearest cash machine and forced him to reveal his PIN number. After a series of attacks in the area, local residents have gathered in Steen's apartment to talk to the policeman handling the case. His advice: "Don't go out unless you have to."

This is the land of Churchill. "We will hide in the fields, we will hide in the beaches!"

Pardon my ghoulish flippancy. This story really does sadden me, but it also points out the first stop on the road to gun control.

Posted by John Kranz at 5:03 PM | Comments (4)
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

In Harlem, it's become a common tactic for groups of street punks to have big kids knock a victim down, and the little ones rifle through the victim's pockets. That's pure robbery, though.

Eight kids who "forced" that Steen chap to reveal his PIN? I hope they were bigger than him and/or wielded some serious weaponry, because if they had just their fists, then that man is just a damn coward. These teens know that crime pays, because the victims appear all too ready to give up and/or unable to defend themselves adequately. People need to start stand up for themselves -- and arm themselves even with just a steak knife. After a few punks get stabbed, let's see if Brits become "outraged" over someone defending himself, or if someone defends himself and is prosecuted for it.

And then there's the lead-in picture. Oh, how sad, this Abnett wants to work but can't because he did prison time, blah blah, so he'll have to turn to crime again? It's society's fault, obviously, not his fault for doing crimes in the first place.

For these punks, the only solution isn't long prison times, but to break their legs (I say that literally) and throw them back on the streets they came from.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 1, 2008 1:14 PM
But jk thinks:

It gets worse, Perry, not only have they taken firearms away, they have also prosecuted several high profile cases against those who have, as you suggested, used other weapons. If you dare to fight back in Blighty you will be prosecuted, while the yobbo who was robbing you is let off easy.

I would also suggest that Harlem would be an American area most closely resembling British gun laws (how's that working out?)

Posted by: jk at April 1, 2008 1:33 PM
But Perry Eidelbus thinks:

You tell me. Broderick Hehman is pushing up daisies, and his killers get to spend just a few years in juvie.


When a buddy and I went out for St. Patrick's, we were in a bank's locked ATM enclosure when a punk showed up outside the glass, asking for money. He said his girlfriend's in the hospital, do we have a car whose windows he could wash, the whole spiel. Yeah. I was about to give my friend my wallet, just in case, then go out and beat the crap out of the guy if he didn't leave. But then *I'd* be the one charged by the police.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at April 1, 2008 2:02 PM
But johngalt thinks:

The number of "kids" it takes to coerce a grown man to hand over his PIN number will vary with the particular grown man, but if 8 kids can't subdue him they'll try again later with 16, or 32... (Do you suppose they didn't first try with only 2, or 4 punks?)

I haven't been to NYC since 1996, or to Harlem ever; Britain is on and off of my travel list on a constant basis. I'll tell you one thing though, it will only be to visit - I'll never live in any of those places. Life imitates art.

Posted by: johngalt at April 6, 2008 10:28 AM

July 24, 2007

Senator Biden on Your 2nd Amendment Rights

I missed the Dem debate last night. If they did not have one every three days...

Here is the Biden clip that everybody is talking about.

I don't know, that will play to his base well enough and I don't think it hurts his chances of becoming our next president in a statistically meaningful way. I was more intrigued by Gov. Richardson: It's not about gun rights, it's really about free child care!

Posted by John Kranz at 12:22 PM | Comments (3)
But AlexC thinks:

I'm not sure it will play to the base... he didn't get all that much applause...

He had no chance anyway... I forgot he was running. ;)

Posted by: AlexC at July 24, 2007 1:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Let me rephrase. I don't think many of those who were looking to the Delaware Senator as our next President will be turned off. A few others might enjoy his forthright answer.

Then again, this man could not statistically hurt his Presidential chances if he came out against puppies.

Posted by: jk at July 24, 2007 2:03 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Guns haven't been the Dems strong point in a long time... It's good to see how little some have learned.

Posted by: AlexC at July 24, 2007 2:32 PM

April 22, 2007

The Other Virginia College Shooting

Could it be that johngalt linked to a Glenn Reynolds piece before JK did? Could be...

A google news search for "appalachian school of law shooting 2002" yielded "Which is Safer? More guns or fewer?" by Reynolds published in Denver's Rocky Mountain News.

It's a short piece and every paragraph is superb, but here's one I'd like to highlight:

What's more, she would have been safer. That's how I feel about my student as well (one of a few I know who have gun-carry permits). She's a responsible adult; I trust her not to use her gun improperly, and if something bad happened, I'd want her to be armed because I trust her to respond appropriately, making the rest of us safer. [emphasis mine]

It isn't often one reads a distinction between reality and perception - between "being" and "feeling" - in a newspaper. It's no surprise, when it happens, that it comes from the pen of a blogger.

Hat Tip: My dad, who brought me Friday's Rocky Mountain News "RockyTalk Live" column with reader comments on the VT murders, including one by "KW" that mentioned the 2002 incident.

Posted by JohnGalt at 1:04 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

My Internet connection was down -- I woulda smoked you!

Seriously, great post. Professor Reynolds is not only right, but also in a good position to make this point without seeming an ideologue or a gun nut.

I watched the President of George Washington University on FOXNews Sunday. When a similar a suggestion was made, he bemusedly waved it off, bragging that even Campus Police were unarmed.

I feel safer already.

Posted by: jk at April 23, 2007 12:56 PM

"Gun Culture" Defined

"Gun culture" has been the theme of several recent postings, precipitated by the derogotory use of that term by media imbeciles opining on last week's Virginia Tech mass murder. I now offer an authoritative definition of the term in 800 pages: The 1996 John Ross historical novel, 'Unintended Consequences.' [Sorry, hardcover only.]

Here's a concise reader comment on the work from Amazon.com:

127 of 135 people found the following review helpful:

It Changed My Thinking, April 27, 2003
Reviewer: Beau Thurnauer "Beau" (Coventry, CT USA) - See all my reviews

I'm a pretty conservative guy. I follow rules because I find it comfortable to do so. I stop at stop lights and do a lot of things I would rather not do as well as not doing things I would like to do because I find this an orderly and secure way to live.
I do recognize that there are many stupid poorly conceived laws and rules but I still comply. I have never thought about starting a revolution because the trivial moronic little rules and regulations that we are requested to comply with are unreasonable in a free society. But that is the topic of this book.

Few books in my life have changed my thinking over the long term. Unintended Consequences did this. This book is about the gun culture. How it began and where it is today. I never never never thought about how not only many of the Federal firearms regulations are but in a more global sense how many of our regulations are ridiculous.

This may sound like a vague description of a 800+ page book. But this book is so global. It talks specifically about Henry Bowman who grows up shooting guns as a hobby like many others collect stamps or ride motorcycles. Yet he explains very slowly and methodically how his life experiences with his hobby are hampered unreasonably by Federal regulations. You do not have to be a gun lover or hater to appreciate this book. You only have to have a hobby or passion; any hobby or passion. You will see how our Constitution and Bill of Rights have been beaten and changed, how we are losing our individual rights and how dangerous the repurcussions.

Please read this book for the message, it will change you.

It didn't change me, but it did reinforce my opinions.

Posted by JohnGalt at 12:33 PM

April 21, 2007

Maybe it is a gun culture

Miss America 1944, as told by Yahoo News/AP/LATimes:

WAYNESBURG, KY. — Miss America 1944 has a talent that probably has never appeared on a beauty pageant stage: She fired a handgun to shoot out a vehicle's tires and stop an intruder.

Venus Ramey, 82, confronted a man on her farm in south-central Kentucky last week after she saw her dog run into a storage building where thieves had previously made off with old farm equipment.

Ramey said the man told her he would leave. "I said, 'Oh, no you won't,' and I shot their tires so they couldn't leave," Ramey said.

She had to balance on her walker as she pulled out a snub-nosed .38-caliber handgun.

I love this country.

UPDATE: Insty beat me to this one by a few hours, and links to Don Surber, who has a picture.

Posted by John Kranz at 3:27 PM | Comments (2)
But AlexC thinks:

The equalizing power of firearms is awesome...

Posted by: AlexC at April 21, 2007 5:53 PM
But johngalt thinks:

Correction: It really WAS a gun culture... in 1944. This was the era when many a young boy carried his .22 rifle to school with him, left it in his locker all day, and hunted rabbits on his way home. These were the men who, when faced with the international threat of a genocidal madman in central Europe, and ordered by the president to go across the ocean and defeat a mighty army, kept marching forward until the enemy surrendered. They knew how to handle a firearm, and what it was for (and not for).

Today, young boys and girls are expelled from school for a week if they bring a butter knife to school. Today, it is a butter-knife culture.

Any wonder why Mahmood isn't afraid?

Posted by: johngalt at April 22, 2007 12:25 PM

April 20, 2007

"Gun Culture"?

So it's all over the news that we have a "gun culture?"

Should we be prevented from owning firearms? Should we be allowed to own firearms?

This video shows what happens when "just anyone" has a gun: Horror.

Now what would have happened if this person did not have a gun? And would that have been good, or bad?

I side with the video. Strongly.

HT: Never Yet Melted Blog

Posted by Cyrano at 10:39 AM | Comments (2)
But jk thinks:

Amen to that!

I always want to tell the gun control people: "We tried that. It's called the Middle Ages -- look it up." Their dream world of no guns would just allow the biggest and meanest to have their way at the expense of others.

Posted by: jk at April 20, 2007 12:06 PM
But mdmhvonpa thinks:

Ok ... that is out of SLC ... Salt Lake City. Yet another reason to like Mitt, eh?

Posted by: mdmhvonpa at April 20, 2007 2:04 PM

April 17, 2007

VT & Gun Control

Rush Limbaugh has a really good quote from Governor Rendell regarding additional gun control laws.

Liberal "Rep. Jim Moran who, less than '24 hours after the deadliest shooting spree in U.S. history' took to the airwaves to launch a political attack against President Bush, congressional Republicans and the National Rifle Association.... Moran suggested Republicans were to blame for Monday's tragedy at Virginia Tech, which left 33 dead and injured another 30.

"The anti-gun congressman said Republican policies made it easy for the shooter to obtain a gun." The serial numbers were filed off of these two guns, were they not? Well, now, I'm going to tell you: if you file the serial numbers off your gun, it means you have evil intent in your mind and your heart, and there is no gun control law, period, that is going to stop you. Grab audio sound bite 18 again. If you're just joining us, I want you to go back and listen to Ed Rendell, the governor of Pennsylvania, talking about the Amish tragedy, the shooting there in Pennsylvania last fall. This is from October of last year. The reporter said, "Governor Rendell, do you see any need for any changes in state public schools in terms of security?"

RENDELL: You can make all the changes you want, but you can never stop a random act of violence by a person who is intent on killing themselves. It's the same thing as protecting the president of the United States. You can have 50 Secret Service agents there, but if someone is willing to swap their life for the president's, they're going to get a point-blank shot at the president.

A tragedy, to be sure....

But it's a little depressing to see everyone pointing fingers at each other over gun issues immediately. Shouldn't we first get that place back in order first?

Posted by AlexC at 6:31 PM | Comments (1)
But jk thinks:

One of my most beloved but misguided relatives is campaigning for a Rep. Kucinich-style Department of Peace.

I received a "Media Alert" email from her suggesting that I "Call in to a talk show and discuss how a Department of Peace would help prevent another Virginia Tech from happening."

Posted by: jk at April 17, 2007 7:07 PM

April 13, 2007

Gun Control? B******t

Penn and Teller

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 5:18 PM

March 22, 2007

Guns and the Courts

TrekMedic passes along this Steve Chapman article about the affect of the 2nd amendment court decision last week.

So if this decision is upheld, it will not change our treatment of guns very much. Complete bans would be off-limits, but they are already rarer than white buffaloes. Most other gun-control laws would remain on the books, and anti-gun groups would be free to press for additional ones.

The only obstacle would be the one that has stymied them in the past: insufficient public support. It wasn't the constitutional right to keep and bear arms that induced Congress to let the federal ban on "assault weapons" expire, or that persuaded 40 states to allow the carrying of concealed handguns. Those choices were the product of sentiment among citizens and legislators who see most restrictions on firearms as futile at best and dangerous at worst.

The bad news for gun-control advocates is that the Supreme Court may adopt an expansive view of the Second Amendment. The worse news is this may represent the will of the people.

The conventional wisdom is that gun-control issues cost Algore the 2000 election. Democrats know it's a loser. It's about time.

Posted by AlexC at 8:48 PM

March 9, 2007

News Item of the Decade

What's that? Did Bill Gates promise to buy Apple Computer and divide all of its stock amongst all the AIDS patients in Africa? Did Mahmood I'mInAJihad just convert to Christianity? Did Hillary divorce Bill? No.

Gun Ban in D.C. Overturned

Owning guns in D.C. may soon become legal, as federal appeals court ruled that the right to bear arms applies not only to militias.

Three years ago, a lower-court judge had told six D.C. residents of high-crime neighborhoods who wanted the guns for protection that they don't have a constitutional right to own handguns.

City argued that the Second Amendment right to bear arms applies only to militias, not individuals.

Today judge held that the Second Amendment doesn't just apply to militia service, or to people with "intermittent enrollment in the militia."

Just what was this D.C. gun ban? From the Cato Institute via P.R. Newswire: "Under existing law, no handgun could be registered in the District, and even pistols registered prior to D.C.'s 1976 ban could not be carried from room to room within a home without a license."

Well, what's wrong with that CNSnews? If that is the "democratically-expressed will of the people of the District of Columbia" then who cares that, "Even though the nation's capital had one of the strictest gun bans in the country, it also suffers from one of the five-highest murders rates of major cities nationwide?" I guess two out of three federal appeals judges care:

In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."

The court also ruled the D.C. requirement that registered firearms be kept unloaded, disassembled and under trigger lock was unconstitutional.


"The district's definition of the militia is just too narrow," Judge Laurence Silberman wrote for the majority Friday. "There are too many instances of 'bear arms' indicating private use to conclude that the drafters intended only a military sense."

The opinion of the lone dissenting judge is telling. Her foundation for supporting the 30-year old law was not that individuals are not militia members, or that handguns are not hunting tools. Instead she wrote, "the Second Amendment does not apply to the District of Columbia because it is not a state."

Can I believe my eyes? I'm still not sure I believe a sitting federal judge actually wrote this. The reporter must have misrepresented, right? I wonder if she would also argue that the first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth (take a breath), twenty first, twenty second, twenty third (oh really?), twenty fourth, twenty fifth, twenty sixth and twenty seventh amendments don't apply to D.C. because "it is not a state?"

For some time now I've been considering creation of a "Slave-o-Meter" that reflects the global movement toward collectivism and away from individual liberty modeled after the Union of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." I was dissuaded by the notion that the "Slave-o-Meter" would only ever move in one direction: toward collectivization of humankind. (And because I still haven't thought of a better name than Slave-o-Meter.) This development in D.C. is one rare, delicious, possibly temporary case where it moved noticeably in the other direction.

UPDATE: [13 March] I am eternally grateful to JK for his comment link to the WaPo editorial on this. It allows me to share this remarkable quote:

"While the ruling caught observers off guard, it was not completely unexpected, given the unconscionable campaign, led by the National Rife Association and abetted by the Bush administration, to broadly reinterpret the Constitution so as to give individuals Second Amendment rights."

So in the document that begins ... We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America, an interpretation by the "National Rifle Association and abetted by the Bush administration" that one of its amendments applies to "individuals" is "unconscionable."


Posted by JohnGalt at 3:50 PM | Comments (5)
But jk thinks:

I humbly suggest "Serfdom Miles." How far down Hayek’s road we are. Like the clock, it will be hard to weight multiple parameters into a single, scalar quantity.

I am not so pessimistic as you. It is disturbing to see the free word give up its liberty by bits and pieces -- at the same time, I look at the Heritage /WSJ index of economic freedom and see that more and more people are escaping from the least free nations.

In a Sharansky sense, I'd say this planet is doing well, although in a Friedmanite, Hayekian sense, we may be giving back some gains.

Following the Constitution in the US Capitol is a good sign.

Posted by: jk at March 9, 2007 6:07 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Thank GOD a court in this country FINALLY understood what the Second Amendment really means!

Now,..how soon before the knee-jerk reactions from the "let's talk" liberal crowds??

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at March 9, 2007 8:34 PM
But jk thinks:

Not sure what time the WaPo hits the streets, tm, but the answer is "less than 24 hours."

Dangerous Ruling: An appeals court ruling would put handguns back in D.C. homes

Quelle Horreur! Guns in homes...

Posted by: jk at March 10, 2007 12:26 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Thanx for the link, jk

Posted by: TrekMedic251 at March 11, 2007 12:02 PM
But dagny thinks:

The WaPO article JK links to above is hysterical, in more ways than one. However, I recommend reading the comments to the article. At one point a commenter notes that the comments are 82% in favor of the ruling. Perhaps there is hope for DC yet????

Posted by: dagny at March 12, 2007 7:31 PM

September 30, 2006

School Shootings

First I want to draw attention to an unexcusable gaffe on the part of CNN. While watching the network this morning, as I've taken to in the weeks leading up to Red November, I saw their report on the Wisconsin school principal who was shot to death by a disgruntled 15-year old "special needs student." But the stunner was the on-screen graphic, which read, "Colorado principal killed." Huh? Are school shootings so prevalent now that a major "news" outlet can't keep them sorted out?

The answer of course is no. But in the case of the Colorado shooting, within an hour's drive of Littleton's Columbine High School where the nation's worst ever school shooting occurred, one might well wonder if Colorado's "shall issue" concealed carry law has anything to do with it. Not because any of the killers involved had carry permits, but because the law specifically excludes guns from a number of "safe zones" that include, yes, school property. A debate has broken out on Colorado talk radio whether school teachers should be armed, and whether that would be safer or more dangerous. But this is the wrong question. What should be debated is whether school teachers should continue to be DIS-armed.

The answer is not to place guns in the hands of every teacher, but when criminals know that theirs will be the only gun on a school campus it gives them a warm fuzzy feeling about terrorizing, traumatizing and even slaughtering our children. The time has clearly come to eliminate schools from the so-called "safe zone" list (if not abolish it altogether) - for the children.

Posted by JohnGalt at 11:47 AM

September 12, 2006

Firearms Refresher Course

Via e-mail:

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Glock: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights, you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791: All Rights reserved.

11. What part of "... shall not be infringed ..." do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case they ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and liberals.

15. Know guns, know peace and safety. No guns, no peace nor safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer!

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the "gun control laws" we have, don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

26. ".. a government of the PEOPLE, by the PEOPLE, for the PEOPLE..."

Posted by John Kranz at 12:37 PM | Comments (7)
But AlexC thinks:

28. Better to be tried by twelve, than carried by six.

Posted by: AlexC at September 12, 2006 7:01 PM
But jk thinks:

29. The 2nd Amendment ain't about duck hunting.

Posted by: jk at September 12, 2006 7:40 PM
But TrekMedic251 thinks:

Two words:


Posted by: TrekMedic251 at September 13, 2006 11:35 AM
But johngalt thinks:

From Heinlein:
(Couldn't pick just one)

"There are no dangerous weapons; there are only dangerous men."

"Get a shot off fast. This upsets him long enough to let you make your second shot perfect."

"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors — and miss."

Of those on the original list, my favorite is #11. My future wife and I made this very entry in the "Share your thoughts on the Second Amendment" guestbook at the Concord National Battlefield visitor's center in August, 2001. Little did we know what approached...

Posted by: johngalt at September 13, 2006 5:58 PM
But AlexC thinks:

Was it Heinlein who wrote "An armed society, is a polite one" ?

Posted by: AlexC at September 14, 2006 1:17 AM
But johngalt thinks:

Yes, you are correct, although neither dagny or I can remember which book it was in. Lazarus Long said in 'Time Enough for Love' that he almost felt naked if he left home without his sidearm, so it could easily have been in that (great) book.

Posted by: johngalt at September 14, 2006 11:51 AM

September 5, 2006

Will all 150 vote?

Fooled me. I read this article in TNR about the American Hunters and Shooters Association. TNR portrayed the group as serious hinters and shooters who thought that the NRA was too absolutist in defending gun rights, and that the GOP was not protective enough of conservation and habitat for hunters.

It didn't sit right with me, but folks who disagree with me frequently perplex.

Cam Edwards comes up with the goods on this group: "AHSA bills itself as a 'moderate alternative to the NRA', but in reality it’s an organization founded by leaders in the anti-gun movement who have strong ties to the Brady Campaign."

More interesting still, they have 150 members. Three digits!

I realize that for Blanding, AHSA represents a new and exciting attempt to mislead gun owners (we’re talking about a writer who once penned a “Culture of Life Top Ten” wish list for the ultra-lefty Alternet, in which he expressed his desire that Congress would pass Massachusetts-style gun control laws). New or not, AHSA is trying to deceive gun owners into buying into an anti-gun movement and to give anti-gun politicians a bit of pro-gun cover. From the tens of thousands of dollars its leaders have donated to candidates like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Nancy Pelosi to the fact that the press contact for this supposedly non-partisan organization is also the head of the Fairfax City (Virginia) Democratic Committee, American Hunters and Shooters Association isn’t out to protect your rights. They’re out to deceive you, and Michael Blanding appears happy to help.

I might start a Republican alternative to NARAL and a GOP Teachers Union -- I bet I could get more than 150.

Hat-tip: Instapundit

Posted by John Kranz at 2:09 PM

May 20, 2006

Horror Film

This is a good argument regarding gun control. And it shows an important difference between our society and Islamic society.

Only in America!! :) Gotta love it...

Posted by Cyrano at 9:44 PM

January 3, 2006

Thought for the day

Is Samizdata's quote of the day:

Last century over 170 million people were murdered by their own governments, and your government doesn't want you to have a gun. Doesn't that bother you just a little?
- Unknown

or "The Second Amendment ain't about duck hunting" -- Redneck bumper sticker

Posted by John Kranz at 6:58 PM

October 24, 2005

Great Article, Bad Ending

I just got around to reading Glenn Reynolds The Next International Right and was highly impressed.

He's right to position self-defense as an international human right; he's right to suggest that it would cure genocides a lot better than U.N. brunches and petitions; and I'd even agree that he is right to ask the Bush administration to push this as an international right -- especially as our Secretary of State is a known believer in the importance of America's Second Amendment

It's a great article but he closes with a device that personally disturbs me:

I wonder if the Bush administration’s diplomatic corps will have the nerve and the integrity to push this argument at the U.N. and elsewhere, not merely as an argument in opposition to global gun control, which they have been making already, but an argument in favor of a positive right to be armed as part of international human rights law? Perhaps they will, if enough Americans encourage them to.

Sorry, perfesser, if the President of the United States does not drop what he is doing and push your personal agenda, it is because he lacks courage? That is the Bill O'Reilly argument leaders don't do what I say because they're chicken or corrupt, not because my idea of nuclear hair-trigger land mines on the border is imperfect.

A small nit in an important and well presented piece, but that's what you guys pay me for.

Posted by John Kranz at 6:48 PM

April 14, 2005

Just There to Draw the Chalk Outline

You may have heard about this story: Two weeks ago a 5 year-old girl called 911 to report that her parents were "dead" and "there is blood coming out of my dad's mouth."

According to UPI, "a man broke into a New Smyrna Beach, Fla., home and killed a couple he believed had turned him in on drug charges and then killed himself." The story goes on, "The Hernlens had nothing to do with Johnson's arrest, the deputies said." In addition, "The couple had asked for an injunction against Johnson in January, but a judge denied it. The couple said Johnson was stalking them by driving by their house and making threats."

Now, here's the rest of the story. Last night, the father of 29 year-old Aeneas Hernlen, the man of the house that was invaded and in which he and his wife were murdered, was interviewed on the O'Reilly Factor. The elder Hernlen, Tracy, told Bill that his son had sought a restraining order against the suspect three times. He also said that a couple of weeks before their murder, Aeneas had called him and asked him for a gun. Tracy Hernlen happens to be a retired police officer. He told his son, "No. You need to let the police protect you." Stiffling tears, Tracy then said, "They let him down. The system failed them."

Knowing all of this you have to ask yourself, whose hands do you want YOUR safety in? Your own, or the cops? I'm no cop basher but they just can't be counted on unless they happen to be there at the time. As my father-in-law puts it (and his son happens to be a cop), "When it comes to self-defense, the only thing the police are good for is to draw the chalk outline around your dead body."

Remember this every time you get to vote on a gun rights issue.

Posted by JohnGalt at 3:09 PM