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Archive for the ‘RKBA and Gun Rights’ Category

There’s no such thing as an ‘assault’ weapon. There are weapons better geared to be used in armed assaults, but I wouldn’t take a deer rifle to a gun fight.

Let me expound on what I mean by that. Yes, there are weapons that aren’t suited to ‘hunting’. Most hunters hunt for the meat, or sometimes the hide, maybe the horns. (I personally have not found a good recipe for horn yet, so I hunt for my love of venison and wild game) You would not, for example, want to use a bazooka to shoot a deer if your intention was to get dinner. (that is unless you have a pallet that prefers bruised, blood, bone and hair speckled hamburger) But technically you ‘could’ use a bazooka to shoot a deer, just the results would not be suitable. So it’s safe to say a bazooka does not make for a good deer rifle.


Squirrel Hunting with an AK-47
But any time you create a ‘classification’ and intend to define things by way of that classification, if another classification equally applies, the stereotyping of that item is potentially invalidated. I know, for example a great many hunters who like to use AK-47’s because they are one of the most reliable weapons ever made. You can literally drop them in the mud, drag them through the sand, bury them in 12″ of top soil, pull them out and still get them to fire accurately enough to take down a deer. So although built to be used for armed assaults, they make very effective weapons for just about any purpose.

But let’s focus on those most ‘evil’ of weapons folks try to demonize. Weapons that are designed with the full intention of killing as many enemies as possible. Large round, full metal jacket, metal spraying machines who’s primary design and purpose is to hurl as much lethal stuff at human bodies as possible in the shortest span of time. They probably wouldn’t be suitable for hosing down deer if, as in most places, you are only provided 1 or 2 kill tags.

The problem is that any weapon created for the purpose of carrying out assaults works equally well for the purpose of defending against those assaults. Any weapon that poses a threat to others is capable of posing a deterrent to others as well. Thus any so-called ‘assault’ weapon is equally classifiable as an ‘anti-assault’ weapon. It’s all in how it is used.

Despite the desires of the anti-gun crowd to suggest otherwise, I have conducted multiple experiments. I have, for example, taken out my Ruger 10/22, thrown a fully loaded 30 round banana clip into it and set it on the table in such a configuration that it met one of the original qualifications as an ‘assault’ weapon. I set it out thus and left it there, properly supervised of course, for over 3 days straight. It never once got up off the table, ran out, and started mowing down innocent civilians and children. As I say, I have repeated this and similar experiments with my other weapons many times. Not once has any of them gone out and performed a killing spree on their own.

So the notion of an ‘assault’ weapon is nothing more than a rhetorical myth created by people who want to demonize something they do not wish to bear any responsibility for. But be damn sure, if they ever need that ‘anti-assault’ capability, they’ll be finding someone properly trained and throw those guns into their hands, all the while begging them “save me save me!” All I can say is ‘how pathetic!’

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Mitch Albom at WJR 760am

Well, once again good ole Mitch Albom set off my ‘critical thinking bullshit detector’ on my commute home. Today he had on a guest who was discussing some research he was apparently trying to collect on the Michigan Concealed Carry law as part of the acknowledgement of it being passed 10 years ago.

Among some of the other things that were discussed, the guest had pointed out some of the things that the law proposed to do.  Obviously, it established a legal process for a ‘no fault’ CCW. (‘no fault’ in this instance refers to the fact that instead of having to prove a ‘need’ to have such a permit, the responsibility instead falls upon the issuing body to prove cause not to provide one to anyone applying) It also established anonymity protection for the applicants, i.e. not adding their names to some kind of publicly accessible registry.  But apparently, it also established reporting guidelines to better assess any impact on illegal activities that permit owners might be involved with in any way.

Apparently, one of the beefs that Mr. Albom wanted to highlight is that this reporting standard did not carry with it any penalties for non-compliance.  And also apparently, many jurisdictions have not been complying with these reporting guidelines.

Now at this point let me say that I agree with both Mr. Albom and his guest.  If there is a requirement in the law that crimes related to CCW permit holders be reported, they should be.  If, for whatever reason, jurisdictions are not reporting these statistics then that is a legitimate beef to take up with those jurisdictions.  But that is where my agreements end.  And the fact that Mr. Albom felt the need to make this ‘news’ at all reminded me all to clearly of the non-issue news about the potential hazards of Reardon metal in the book Atlas Shrugged.

I’ll give Mitch credit that he did present both sides of the arguments.  He did point out at least twice that you can neither say that crimes are occurring as a result of increased handgun carrying by-way-of legal CCW permit carrying citizens nor can you say that crimes are being prevented by CCW permit carrying citizens when such statistics are not reported.  But he then went on at least half a dozen times to suggest that the statistics on CCW related crimes are under-reported.

If you cannot determine either way, then that is nothing more than an assumption.  You could just as easily assume that these statistics are not being reported because these jurisdictions in question have little or nothing to report!  With that said, the latter is still an assumption, but I would argue it is a safer assumption than the one he is alleging by way of suggesting an under-reporting of CCW related crime.  He also added to this suggestion that ‘there’s not way to tell’.  But I think there is.

There are organizations with political motives on both sides of the debate that could benefit from news one way or another.  (he tacitly eluded to this as well but did not correlate it as it would have no doubt damaged his presumption of ‘under reported crimes)  Both sides have people who monitor the news and would report on any and all successes and/or abuses (respective to their political motive) that benefited their side of the debate.  BUT….. the media tends to reverberate the negative, anti-gun sentiments wider, farther and longer than any pro-gun news.

If in fact there were known abuses of the law by CCW permit holders, the media would pounce on that like a bunch of blood crazed hounds.  Witness the case of Bernie Goetz as a gleaming example of the kind of media bias I am referring to.  Although not a legal-CCW related case, the media went crazy over the coverage of the criminal charges against Mr. Goetz and almost entirely glossed over the criminal acts being committed against him at the time.  (they also grossly under reported the ‘effects’ of his actions on the crime statistics in the NY subway in the weeks following his criminal act of self-defense)

To say there is ‘no way to know for sure’ simply because statistics are under-reported to support either claim, is to over look the media blood-lust for anti-gun rhetoric, in the midst of perpetuating more anti-gun rhetoric!

Unfortunately Mr. Albom, I must say yet again….

Critical-Thinking Bullshit Detector

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Someone reminded me today of some of my experiences as a kid growing up in a house with a respect for firearms.  There’s no real political motivation to this posting (as with many of my others), just some insightful reminiscing and perhaps a few lessons to be learned.

As stated, my household was open to the discussion and teaching about and in regards to the existence and safe use of firearms.  I knew where the ‘house gun’ was stored by the time I was 4 years old.  I also knew it was not something to be touched, but that if I was curious, I could ask at any time to explore that curiosity under the appropriate supervision.

“Oh, but can you trust a 4 year old with such knowledge” you might suggest?  Well, this calls to mind one such scenario at about that age – in fact it is the instance which allows me to recall that I knew of the ‘house gun’ by that age (and perhaps was even made aware of it before then, but cannot state as much as this is my first real recollection of it).

As is the case with most parents, from time to time we would have ‘sitters’ so my mom and dad could go out and do grown-up things by themselves.  Generally it would be one of the girls from the neighborhood, but one time my parents decided to give a young boy up the street a chance at doing the job.   He blew the chance quickly!

Knowing that my father had firearms, he suggested to us that he heard a strange noise outside and asked my brother and I to tell him where my dad kept the family ‘gun’.

My then 6 y.o. brother told him it was none of his business!   Furthermore, upon my father coming home, he immediately informed my father of the sitter’s interest in knowing where the gun was located.  (believe it or not, I tended to be the quiet/shy one at that age) Needless to say, that boy never sat for us again and my parents had a considerable talk with his parents about the incident.

An important point I often tell parents (back when I was doing my NRA safety certifications and in general discussions about the topic of gun safety and kids to this day) is the fact that we were also brought along and allowed to see guns shooting and even shoot them ourselves at a very early age as well.  By the time I was about 8 my father had bought me and my brother both a Savage 220, 28 gauge shotgun that we could use and were taught extensively to behave safely around.  We, again, were allowed access to it under appropriate supervision whenever we desired.

Not too long after, my dad bought me a Savage 219 in a .410 gauge as I was still a tad small for the 28.  I quickly became quite efficient at shooting, going so far as to hit 48 out of 50 clay pigeons one afternoon shooting trap in spite of my brother and father’s attempts to make each one more challenging or otherwise ‘trick’ me into missing one by making them spin or fly awkwardly.  (I recently patterned that gun – yes, I still have it – with similar shells only to discover it holds about a 6″ pattern at 25 yards making me realize just how much of a feat that was for a kid, especially in that many of those 48 weren’t simply hit but disintegrated into a dust cloud by a mere 2 3/4″ .410 shell that doesn’t carry a lot of #9 lead shot in it)

One of the reasons I was so adept at shooting was also another of my father’s ideas that I praise to this day.  Thus the title of this piece.  He bought us a BB gun and kept us well supplied with BBs for it.  I remember it to this day, a Daisy ‘Woodstock’ (most likely a model 96 like the one pictured below).

Daisy "woodstock" model 96

I modified this picture slightly to reflect what my father had done to ours.  The first thing he did upon getting it was to take it downstairs to his work bench to remove the front and rear sights.  The goal being to get us used to shooting, but more specifically to build shooting instincts rather than a reliance on the mechanical sights themselves.  This was an invaluable teaching tool for my shooting skills as it required me to learn to shoot based on where the BB actually went as opposed to where the sights were aligned.

I remember many an afternoon running around the side yard shooting at various things floating down the creek that ran by our property.  Sticks, the occasional bug (my brother and I could eventually take bugs out in midair with little problem) – I remember in particular shooting at individual pieces of ‘duckweed’, small green plants resembling teeny tiny lily pads all of about 3mm across, with regularity.

We also had our fair share of mock battles, setting up our little green army men at about 10-15 yards and shooting it out with them until they were all knocked over.  There was one set of army men we had in particular that were especially fun for this.  A small set of revolutionary war soldiers that consisted of multiple parts put together to form the full soldier — removable guns, wigs, hats, two piece bodies and other various clothing and gear components.  When you would shoot those they would often times fracture into pieces that you would have to collect and re-assemble before going at it again.

I know, kind of morbid shooting at little men but it’s what boys tend to do and we were well aware they were just plastic little targets.  And as a result of having such targets, neither me or my brother ever had the desire to shoot at things we shouldn’t.

The familiarity and proximity to guns in a ‘supervised’ atmosphere of incessant habit re-enforcement also went a long way in teaching both respect and proper care and safety around guns.  Being around dad shooting as a very young sprite was more than enough motivation to avoid touching those things that made those really loud ‘BOOMS‘!!!  Being able to explore curiosities about these devices dispelled any desire to explore said curiosities without supervision.  Being entrusted — with well laid out rules and corresponding ‘consequences’ for irresponsible behavior — with our own guns (and airguns as the case may be) helped foster that responsible behavior around guns.  It was re-enforced to the point that a couple of interesting situations took place.

One such instance involved a group of neighborhood boys.  Mind you, I was kind of a late bloomer – small and awkward and often times the subject of teasing due to a lesser ability to ‘defend’ myself proficiently.  We were shooting with some neighborhood boys once when one of them kept resorting to what I intrinsically reacted to as ‘bad behavior’.   Mainly, he had a very bad habit of not paying attention to where the end of his BB gun was pointed.

I commented on this a number of times, especially when the way it ended up being pointed was at my head.  Finally after he again turned it to point at my head one more time I pushed the end of the barrel away from my face and told him in no uncertain terms (in essence), “knock it off already, I’m tired of you not listening when I say stop pointing your gun at people!”

As boys of that age (especially the idiotic ones) are prone to do, he came back with a smartass comment.  “What are you griping about?  The safety is on!” at which point he purposefully turned his body as to point the gun back in my face again.

My mind immediately took this not only as stupidity but a direct intent to be reckless.  Something in my head switched gears.  Before I knew it, I had wrenched the gun from the kid’s hands, tripped him by pushing him back over my own foot placed behind his so that he ended up falling flat on his ass.  Then I pulled his gun to my shoulder and squeezed the trigger so hard as to ‘break‘ the plastic safety mechanism, shooting a single round right between his spread legs about 5″ below his private parts.

The group of boys stood mouths agape!  It was very out-of-character for for me  to suddenly lash out like that, not to mention surprising that someone as diminutive as myself could do it as effectively as I did.  It frankly surprised me.

I threw the gun down onto his chest and said rather pointedly (something like) “There’s your damned safety for you!  Now stop pointing your gun in people’s faces dumbass!

Needless to say, he ran home to his mom both complaining that I almost shot him and that I broke the safety on his gun.  When the situation was explained she had no room to argue in regards to my actions in that he was making a habit of (intentionally) behaving recklessly and then trying to justify that recklessness when called out on it.  (and he never went shooting with any of us again – by our prohibition as much as his own disdain for me as a result of that event)

Another situation I still jest with my father about to this day.  My dad loves to collect firearms and when I visit he often takes me down to show me his new acquisitions or various improvements he has done to guns I had already seen.  Without exception he will pick a gun up off his own gun wrack (for which he has the only key to the door outside it), open the action and check that the gun is unloaded.  He then hands the gun to me to look over at which point I immediately open the action and check that it is unloaded…. again!  In spite of the fact MY OWN FATHER just did the exact same thing right in front of me!

Good habits start with common sense approaches.  Good behavior becomes instinctual with repetition and persistent re-enforcement.  I guess that’s my reason for writing this post.

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