Mission statement:

Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

I can be reached at 45superman@gmail.com.You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/45superman.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Quisling 'Republicans' in Pennsylvania

This story has already been covered at War on Guns, but it's infuriating enough to deserve another look.

Nine Philadelphia-area Republicans signaled last week they would break ranks with their caucus today and support handgun-control legislation when the state House of Representatives resumes debate on a controversial proposal.

The measure, which would require reporting handguns that are lost or stolen, has been vigorously pushed by Democrats in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as a "common sense" restriction that would reduce gun violence.
Ah, yes--the increasingly popular notion of imposing legal obligations on victims of crime. Brilliant--and even Republicans can get behind it.

Some of those Republicans even openly admit that such laws will do nothing to reduce violent crime--but why let that stop them?
Nine local Republicans also said they would vote for the proposal. Some said they would do so in response to their constituents, who polls show overwhelmingly support the measure. Others said they were not convinced the reporting requirement would work but thought something must be done.
It won't work, but we have to do something--why not this?
Many Philadelphia-area Republicans, however, said lawmakers had to do something about crimes involving guns, even if the legislation was imperfect.

"There is interest in gun-control legislation that has the reporting requirement because gun violence has affected the people that I represent," said Rep. Kate Harper (R., Montgomery).

Rep. John Perzel (R., Phila.) said he would vote for the measure but doubted its usefulness.

"I don't know if it will get any illegal guns off the streets," Perzel said. "I don't believe it will have any effect."
Well that certainly explains your "yes" vote.
Rep. John Taylor (R., Phila.) said he, too, was a "yes" vote, but he said he was concerned about the potential consequences for law-abiding citizens who fail to report their weapons and who could face criminal charges.

"There is enough sentiment out there that this will really impact regular Joes and that the crackhead going to make straw purchases isn't going to be affected in the least."
Concerned about the consequences, but not sufficiently concerned to protect your constituents from this abomination, I see.
But, Taylor added, "We have a big enough problem in Philly that I'll try anything."
Ah--back to the "It won't work (and does a number on rights), but we have to do something--anything--to at least appear to the voters as if we're on top of violent crime.

As War on Guns points out (and has done so before), such laws can only be enforced against people who can legally own guns (that would be us regular, peaceable citizens), because the Fifth Amendment would protect a felon from a requirement to incriminate himself by reporting the loss or theft of a gun that he owned illegally.

I've said before what I will do if such a law passes in Illinois (a depressingly very real possibility): the day it goes into effect, I'll report every piece of ordnance I own as lost. After that, every time I buy a gun, I'll report it as lost, as well. If a few tens of thousands of gun owners do that, maybe even the geniuses who support such measures will start to figure out how useless they are.

P.S., and utterly unrelated (except for the involvement of gun rights/gun laws)--from War on Guns, I've discovered that I'm famous. OK--that's obviously an enormous exaggeration, but it's still kind of rarefied air for a lowly, insignificant (and somewhat intermittent, lately) blogger like me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I guess we can figure out the Topeka Capital-Journal's stance on the Second Amendment

Judging by the righteous indignation vented in this Topeka Capital-Journal editorial, one would think the Kansas legislature must be pondering something truly horrible--like coming out and saying that shall not be infringed means shall not be infringed.

The measure primarily was introduced to clear up a conflict over a federal law allowing gun manufacturers and dealers to sell machine guns to law enforcement officials.

In December, then-Attorney General Paul Morrison issued an opinion saying Kansas law doesn’t allow those sales.

The bill would make it clear machine guns can be sold in Kansas to law enforcement authorities.

That part is fine. But in going a step further and allowing sales to private citizens, the measure raises concerns ...
Well, at least "that part" (the "Only Ones" being able to buy machine guns and suppressors) "is fine."

That editorial actually exhibited quite a bit of restraint, compared to Capital-Journal blogger Ric Anderson.

The bill that is inciting such panic is Kansas House Bill 2819 (pdf file). All HB 2819 would do in terms of machine guns for private citizens in Kansas is to "allow" them the "privilege" of being able to jump through all the draconian federal hoops that have been placed in the way of private machine gun ownership since 1934 (made even more draconian in 1986, causing an artificial, exponential price inflation).

At the Topeka Capital-Journal, though, even this tiny crumb is too much to throw to liberty advocates. Sounds like a newspaper that intends to be well situated to be part of the Official State News Agency.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Silencing dissent with federal muscle

OK--I haven't really been sick for two weeks--simply got busy with other things just as I recovered. Anyway, I'm easing myself back into the swing of things, and in doing so, I figure I might as well take up where I left off (although it's somewhat old news now--I'll be catching up shortly).

This time, though, our courageous U.S. Marshal Judicial Security Inspector's target is not David Codrea of War on Guns, but Aaron Zelman of Jews for the Preservation of Firearm Ownership.

Since JPFO has never done anything even remotely like anything specified above, the information you ordered passed along to us -- obviously with the intent of doing a little intimidating of your own -- can only be interpreted as an attempt to shut us up, made on behalf of the notoriously lawless Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. It was directed at JPFO, we assume, because we have exposed BATFE's criminal behavior on countless occasions, requested its investigation by the FBI, and called for its abolition. Under the Second Amendment, Mr. Meyer, the mere existence of the BATFE is an infringement of the right to own and carry weapons, and is therefore illegal.

Now it comes as no surprise that BATFE would want us silenced. Those who comprise it, and their predecessors, have been enforcing an unconstitutional gun law cribbed from the Nazis for the last four decades, since 1968.
War on Guns has more. Mr. Zelman, clearly, is not one to mince words. That, of course, can be something of a bone of contention when dealing with people who think of the First Amendment (and the rest of the Bill of Rights) as a suggestion, rather than a flat-out limit of governmental power.

Well, U.S. Marshal Judicial Security Inspector David A. Meyer, I'm feeling left out--what do I have to do to be considered worthy of a threat?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Touch of flu

Obviously, I've been quiet the last couple days. Nothing serious--just temporarily out of commission. Should be back up in a day or two.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Feds trying for a Bill of Rights twofer

War on Guns has a story to tell. It's a story about a corrupt federal bureaucracy so drunk on arrogance as to think itself above the Constitution.

David Codrea, as any reader knows, has been keeping track of the BATFE's war on Red's Trading Post, which is now being actively waged in court.

The latest development (in the first link) is that U.S. Marshal David A. Meyer told Mr. Horsley to warn David about the potential that he could face prosecution under the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007.

That said, OK, I recognize bait when I see it. I'll bite. Here is my considered response. Now that you've snagged me, hang on tight.

First off, if you have anything to say to me, say it directly. Don't go presuming sovereign citizens are your personal messenger boys.

Second, how dare you?

Don't presume to have authority to impose any prior restraint on what I write. Don't presume to warn me about what you will or will not allow me to say.
I don't think Mr. Codrea is impressed.

David A. Meyer (dave.meyer@usdoj.gov) apparently doesn't like us using the First Amendment to protect the Second. I would think he'd be better off to worry that we might do it the other way around.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

IGOLD '08 reminder

I don't have much time for blogging today, so this is just a quick reminder that IGOLD (Illinois Gun Owners Lobby Day) '08 (more information here and here) is Tuesday, March 11th.

As pointed out at War on Guns and Days of Our Trailers, far too many Illinois lawmakers are trying to forget there's a Second Amendment.

Tuesday is a great time to remind them.

Friday, March 07, 2008

The Goldilocks approach to 'gun control'

Back when I started this blog (almost a year and a half ago--time flies), my inspiration was what I saw as a need to counter the lies and distortions of the citizen disarmament advocates. Specifically, the festering effluvia of a website that calls itself the "Gun Guys." For awhile, I wrote about them all the time, with links to the site. Eventually, though, I decided that the ludicrousness of their "arguments" was so obvious that by going to the trouble to debunk it, I was actually giving it more credence than merited.

Something they put up yesterday, however, has provoked me into breaking my own self-imposed rule of not referring to them (I'm not going to provide a link, though--they've quoted me without linking before, so hell with 'em). I refer to their post yesterday that manages to, within a few paragraphs, condemn both the SwissMiniGun and .50 caliber rifles.

The gun industry in America will no doubt support the argument that the miniature revolver is a novelty item for the wealthy. But most citizens of the United States, we are sure, believe that keeping such a deadly “plaything” out of our country is the right thing to do.
Let's talk about how "deadly" this toy is. It fires a 2.34 mm (or .092 caliber) bullet that weighs .128 grams (or in terms more familiar to American shooters, just under 1.98 grains (.22 rimfire bullets are generally between 30 and 40 grains). The muzzle velocity is about 400 feet per second. This translates to a kinetic energy of about .7 foot pounds. Ralphie Parker's Red Ryder BB Gun fired a BB of almost double the caliber (.177), and nearly three times the weight (about 5.73 grains), although at a lower velocity of around 280 feet per second. That makes for a kinetic energy of very nearly 1 foot pound (about .997, to be more exact). Popular BB guns today, like the Crosman, fire 8.2 grain pellets at 625 feet per second, for a KE of about 7.1 foot pounds, or about ten times that of the Mini Gun. Hell--even AirSoft guns (intended for people to shoot each other for recreation) manage almost that much kinetic energy, while paintball guns generate about fourteen times the Mini Gun's muzzle energy. Basically (and much less verbosely), you have a real problem if you're shot in the eye with one of these things, but to actually kill, it would be a hell of a lot easier to use fists and feet.

To the Gun Guys, though, and as Goldilocks would say, "This gun is too small."

Moving along to Papa Bear's gun:
Let the “SwissMiniGun” stay on the other side of the Atlantic. Then let’s begin keeping .50 caliber sniper rifles out of civilian hands as the next step in enhancing our personal and national security.
Obviously, to the Gun Goldilocks, "This gun is too big."

After that, however, is where the Goldilocks analogy breaks down, because to the Gun Guys, no gun is "just right"--they want to ban all of them.

UPDATE: From a comment by Thirdpower, I learn that I'm not the first to notice the Goldilocks angle.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

More on Eric Thompson, and ending defenselessness on college campuses

About two weeks ago, I wrote about my decision to buy a couple magazines from Eric Thompson's website (purchases from which were used by the killers at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University). I did this as a show of support for a man who is ridiculously and grossly unfairly being blamed by some as being somehow responsible (OK--I also did it because I wanted those magazines, but the other reason sounds a lot more noble).

Now, the LA Times has an article about Mr. Thompson, and call me the suspicious type, but I can't quite shake the idea that the author would like readers to sympathize with the "blame the dealer" crowd. Maybe it's the title--"Gun dealer wants weapons on campus," as if to imply that his motivation is expansion of his customer base. Or maybe it's things like this:

Thompson donated to funds for the victims on both campuses. And he continued to sell guns.
As if there is anything inconsistent about generously providing for the victims, while continuing to sell the means to avoid becoming a victim.

The article, by the way, points out that some citizen disarmament advocates, not content with trying to close the mythical "gun show loophole" (and the perhaps even more ludicrous "newspaper loophole"), want to prohibit internet sales of guns (and accessories?), despite the fact that internet gun sales still have to go through a dealer in the purchaser's state, with the usual background check.
Guns must be shipped to one of the nation's 70,000 federally licensed firearms dealers, who do background checks before releasing the package to the buyer.

Gun control advocates condemn online transactions as open to fraud, because convicted criminals can browse online, then pay someone with a clean record to place the order and pick up the firearm.
The same information, of course, can be found in Gun Digest--should libraries be required to run background checks before permitting someone to look at it?

Thompson's solution to college campus massacres is, as the title of the article implies, rather different.
Thompson starts with the uncontested fact that campus shootings are often over before law enforcement can respond. At Virginia Tech, Cho barricaded the classroom building and shot himself in the head as police broke through. At Northern Illinois, Kazmierczak killed five students in less than two minutes; he committed suicide before police arrived.

But what if someone else in those classrooms -- a student, a teacher -- had been carrying a gun? Isn't it at least possible some lives could have been saved? Isn't it worth giving our children that chance?

"Otherwise, it's 'Welcome to your killing spree,' " Thompson says. "Because there's nothing to stop these shooters."

He argues too that allowing guns on campus could deter future shootings.

That perspective has caught on widely since the carnage at Virginia Tech. Most states long ago declared schools gun-free zones; only Utah allows concealed weapons at all public colleges.
Abolishing college "defense-free zones" is another issue I've discussed recently, and an idea whose time has come.

This post is starting to run rather long, and Wasted Electrons has some superb commentary on the subject of ending mandated defenselessness on campus, so I'd like to send readers there next.

For anyone still with me, check out what War on Guns has to say about Arizona college campus police being issued assault weapons . . . oops--I mean "patrol rifles," and then read this genius's tail-wagging endorsement of the idea of more heavily armed "Only Ones," combined with utter contempt for the idea of students not being denied the means to defend themselves.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Michael Moore's other job

An article in the Virginian-Pilot is a bit silly at times (referring to a struggle on the streets "where good guns try to hold back the bad ones"), but brings up some of the (rather obvious) unintended consequences of restrictive gun laws.

But clamping down on firearms can have an unintended effect.

"You create a market when you tighten things up," Garfield Headlam said.

He should know. Headlam is serving a 10-year prison sentence for operating a gun-running ring out of Norfolk in the late 1990s.
This was amply demonstrated by the mob empires created by Prohibition, and the drug cartels who profit from the "War on Drugs." Still, the only tool in the statist toolbox is apparently a hammer, so every social ill is treated as a nail.
Money like that has made gun runners bold. Fourteen Virginia gun shops were burglarized last year, including six in Hampton Roads. In two of the cases, thieves sawed a hole in the roof and used ropes to drop inside. In another, armed men forced a clerk to the floor and walked out with 75 handguns.

In all, the 14 burglaries netted 270 firearms. Some have already been recovered by police in northeastern states - one less than 15 hours after it was taken from a gun shop in York County.
This looks an awful lot like a direct causal link between restrictive gun laws and increased crime. Rather than New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacking some states for "weak gun laws," states like Virginia should demand something be done about the "strong" laws in places like New York.

The next part got my attention in a hurry:
"They walked right by the jewelry and went straight for the guns," said Michael Moore, head of the Norfolk office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
BATFE agent Michael Moore--now that's a marriage made in heaven.

Headlam (the "gun-runner") then sheds some light on the "gun show loophole" myth.
They all knew that in Virginia, they could avoid the background checks if they purchased secondhand guns from private sellers - either at gun shows or through the classifieds.

But, Headlam said: "We never bought from any of them. That one-on-one stuff gets too complicated. People want to have a conversation. They get all skeptical. For real, it was less hassle at a gun shop.
The "gun shows are arms bazaars for gang-bangers" myth is starting to get more than a little frayed around the edges, it would seem, with gun traffickers more daunted by the idea of a friendly conversation with a private vendor than by criminal background checks--still proud, Paul?

That doesn't stop our noble BATFE friend, Michael Moore, from policing gun shows, though.
Working out of a nondescript office on Granby Street, the ATF's Moore l eads a team of nine agents who try to stem the tide. Their territory stretches from the North Carolina line to the other side of Williamsburg, from Emporia to the Maryland line of the Eastern Shore.

They regulate gun shops, monitor gun shows, conduct surveillance, go undercover and watch the classifieds for sellers who surface too frequently [and stomp kittens to death, and burn children alive--never mind].
What does "watch the classifieds for sellers who surface too frequently" mean? How frequently is "too" frequently? Is there some law on the books regarding frequency of classified ads for guns, which although blatantly unconstitutional, would at least allow people to know what is illegal?

Sounds like material for another "documentary," eh, Michael?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

'No real objection'

Citizen disarmament advocates in California are pleased with the results of California's gun registry/seizure program.

A heavy afternoon rain blurs the sky as three black sport utility vehicles pull up across from a one-story stucco house on Pinole Valley Road.

The man inside just turned 60 and recently was placed under a psychiatric hold as a suicide risk, says one of the five state agents. Records show he owns 15 guns, including two assault weapons. Under state law, he must give them up for five years. He hasn't.

"This guy could have a pure disdain for police," Special Agent Supervisor John Marsh says. "It's almost like the boy with the CrackerJack box. When we get to the door, we never know what surprise is going to be inside."
So . . . an anti-defense mental health caregiver decides you're a "suicide risk," and three truckloads of armed agents of the state come to take your property. Yeah--that should be good for the mental health.
Such seizures from "armed and prohibited" gun owners are growing more common across the state, officials say, after the launch last year of a new state computer system that links gun ownership records with a database of people who are banned from keeping them.

The results of an early sampling were remarkable: Nearly 70,000 people statewide, and more than 15,000 in the Bay Area, either kept their guns in violation of state law, or records of their sale or transfer were never entered properly.
Citizen disarmament advocates love this sort of program, and like to imply that anyone opposed to it must be supporters of domestic abusers. It's a pretty effective gambit, because few people are more despicable than men who beat and terrorize their wives/girlfriends. The problem is that one can be found to be a domestic abuser without a criminal conviction, and with nothing like the kind of standard of evidence necessary for such a conviction.

Next, we hear from everyone's favorite hero of medicine, Dr. Gary Wintemute.
"When you're talking about people who've just been served with a restraining order or committed crimes, a person's risk of committing crime number two is highest shortly thereafter," said Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency room doctor and head of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis. "These are precisely the kind of people we want to not have guns."

Wintemute has helped the agents prioritize which types of barred gun owners they should seek first, since the numbers grow too fast to keep up with. State figures show that nearly 800 new people per month are added to the state system. Felony convictions are the top reason, followed by domestic violence restraining orders.

The system, created from 2002 legislation, now holds nearly 11,000 names, although the actual number of armed and prohibited people is several times greater, officials say.
Sending multiple SUV's loaded with government stormtroopers to all those homes is going to generate a lot of greenhouse gases, isn't it? What's a Governator to do?

The part of the article that perhaps disturbed me the most, however, came at the end.
Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said he hopes the technology puts an end to a nettlesome problem. Too often, he said, people unaware that past convictions barred them from owning guns would buy one and not be stopped, then face state enforcement. Paredes said the group has "no real objection" to the system.

"The law has to be obeyed," he said. "If you don't like the law, you work to change it."
Gun Owners of California is, of course, an affiliate of Gun Owners of America--supposedly the "no compromise" wing of the gun rights movement. Here I thought GOA argued for abolishing the entire NICS background check (and by extension, the entire failed concept of a "prohibited persons" list), and now an affiliate has "no real objection" to not only a rather expansive such list, but its incorporation with a confiscation program. (War on Guns has more).

Speaking of War on Guns (and David Codrea) and California gun registries, David has convinced me to stop using the term "law-abiding gun owner." As far as I can tell, "bootlicker" is not only more concise, but more accurate and descriptive, as well.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Twenty reasons to fear for the nation

Recently, the Courier Post (a newspaper in south New Jersey) asked members of its community editorial boards about their opinions of what could be done to prevent the kinds of mass shootings that took place at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois University. I counted twenty responses, ranging from stricter "gun control" (a popular option, of course), to banning abortion (yeah--I didn't quite follow that logic, either). Of the twenty, one pointed out that, just maybe, mandating that all the psycho's intended victims be unarmed, and thus defenseless, was a bad idea--and even this person has some strange ideas about the meaning of a right of the people that shall not be infringed.

ROBIN MOLLENHAUER of Pitman: If even a few bystanders in these shooting rampages were armed, there almost certainly would be fewer victims. These killers may be reluctant to act in this manner if they could not be so sure of the results. At the very least, these killers would not have time to "calmly reload."

The police cannot respond in time to prevent these tragedies. An armed citizenry would provide an option. There should be federal regulations (not state) to sell, purchase and carry guns. There should be strict requirements, better background checks and mandatory training. If you are not competent enough to carry a gun, you should not be allowed to purchase one.
I was with you all the way, Robin, through the first paragraph, but you ran off the rails pretty quickly after that.

One of the "gun control" advocates had the . . . interesting idea of requiring that all gun purchases be paid for via credit card--the longer the paper trail, the better, according to Sam Podietz, of Lumberton.

Another respondent does favor permitting concealed carry (and in his case, "permitting" is definitely the operative term--he sees nothing wrong with requiring people to ask the government for permission to exercise a fundamental human right), but . . . I can't really provide a fair description of this guy's ideas--see for yourself:
DONALD FLASSING of Sewell: To eliminate violence, idealists would like to deport all guns. Like deporting all illegal immigrants, there are just too many. And you couldn't find them all. A plan to employ both legally makes sense.

The gun problem in the United States is huge. Some 4,000 soldiers have died in Iraq during the long war. Virtually none of these were killed by handguns, but by improvised explosive devices, rockets and, on occasion, AK-47s. During the same period, in the United States, 200,000 people have been murdered, the vast majority with handguns.

It is decidedly safer to be a solder in Iraq than to simply walk in areas of our cities. More people are killed annually by handguns in the tri-state area alone than all the soldiers killed by handguns in Iraq, ever. The difference? Soldiers are armed to the teeth, and trained to use their weapons. "Bad guys" don't want to mess with someone who is armed.

As a citizen of New Jersey, I have no right to carry a concealed weapon to protect myself.

For hundreds of years, our forefathers armed themselves. They almost never shot each other. Their children, from birth, were taught not to play with guns, and didn't shoot themselves. The son of a peace officer, I was trained as our forefathers, but I am not allowed to protect myself, or my family, by carrying a weapon. Crooks and idiots carry guns, but I can't. States allowing the concealed carrying of guns have the lowest crime and murder rates in the country.

Lest someone think I am a "gun-nik," in addition to allowing concealed weapons, we should ban assault and similar weapons. (In New Jersey there aren't many places to hunt anymore, anyway.)

Even in Iraq, households are legally allowed to own and carry one firearm for protection. A major benefit of allowing permitted, concealed weapons is that police would be legally entitled to "stop and frisk." This would put the fear of God in crooks on every drug corner.

Philadelphia is looking to implement this policy, but if a gun is found, the police will have to prove the firearm is not registered, and the defendant will immediately make bail.

The law should be that if you are stopped and have an unpermitted gun, you are jailed, without bond, until trial. Minimum-term for conviction is 20 years without parole.

Allowing concealed carry permits, banning assault type weapons, "stop and frisk" with minimum, non-bondable 20-year sentences, will reduce the number of murders in this country by two-thirds; I guarantee it.
Just curious, Donald, did you happen to eat a lot of paint chips as a kid?

UPDATE: Illspirit has more.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dennis Hennigan wishes attorneys general weren't accountable to voters

Reading this article, about the overwhelming tendency of state attorneys general (31 pro-rights to 5 against, with the other 14 staying out of it) to view the right of the people protected by the Second Amendment as a (whaddya know?) . . . right of the people, I was struck by the Brady Bunch's Dennis Henigan's explanation for the one-sided alignment:

Politics also factors heavily into D.C. v. Heller, according to Henigan.

He said some state attorneys general - who are elected in 43 states - likely sided with Heller as a way to show constituents they support an individual-rights reading of the Second Amendment, even as they seek to preserve their own state statutes regulating guns.

"These are political actors. They don't want to appear to be endorsing a handgun ban," Henigan said.
It's like this, Dennis--the U.S. is still ostensibly a republic, whose governing officials are supposedly in office to uphold the will of the people. Like your ideological ally Ronald Safer, you don't have to like the fact that nearly three quarters of Americans believe that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right, but you oughtn't be surprised that elected officials (most of whom, presumably, would like to be reelected) have noticed the public's belief in rights, and comport themselves accordingly.

Dennis, readers will remember, prefers to ignore that "of the people" part of the Second Amendment. Apparently, Dennis, Americans aren't buying your lies about what the Second Amendment says.