Friday, January 12, 2018

No, the Emails Don't Mean Paddock Was an Arms Dealer


Certain backchannels of the Internet are abuzz with rumors that the October 1 murderer was an illegal arms dealer. Awkwardly phrased emails in a recently released search warrant application are what they claim as support. There is no reasonable evidence to support this assertion. It is a fantasy of the small minded.

Ideas are often accepted because they appeal to a pre-existing cognitive bias; a person prefers a certain explanation because it either does not conflict with, or confirms, his or her world view. In this case, someone deeply suspicious of government and police rejects explanations that this was a random or near-random act of terror. To them, in this theory, Paddock was an illegal arms dealer selling weapons for the CIA (or whoever) and was assassinated because he threatened to leak the scheme or was killed when the weapons sale went bad.

These emails, phrased as sales or advertising copy, are the theorists evidence. You have to be stupid or willingly ignorant to believe that these are nefarious, covert messages to an underground customer or middleman.

The emails, from the warrant application:

centralpark1@live.com sent: “try an ar before u buy. we have a huge selection. located in the las vegas area.”

centralpark4804@gmail.com sent back: “we have a wide variety of optics and ammunition to try.”

centralpark1@live.com sent back: “for a thrill try out bumpfire ar’s with a 100 round magazine.”

It’s fairly obvious that Paddock was emailing himself. The “central park” address theme is consistent. The syntax in the messages is consistent. The content of the messages are consistent. But what was the purpose of the emails?

Paddock may have been making notes for himself, disguising their origin and purpose with their odd phrasing. He may have imagined that this would throw off any NSA algorithms scanning emails for keywords.

He may have been sending semi-coded messages to Danley. Playing off the email keyword scanning concern, he may have been saying “Lots of ARs in Las Vegas, where I’m planning to attack. Lots of ammo and optics. Going to use bumpfire rifles and 100 round magazines.” This phrasing is obvious and incriminating, or at least highly suspicious, while the messages as sent just sound odd.

Danley and Paddock may have been communicating with each other, using one or more shared email accounts. You may recall that disgraced (and anti-gun) General Petraeus communicated with his lover to share classified information by using a shared Gmail account where they saved messages to each other as drafts, to avoid any surveillance software picking up sent messages.


Paddock meticulously planned his attack to be as covert as possible, leaving few, if any, traces of his motivation behind. We can only infer what his motives were. One thing is for sure; baseless conspiracy theories mislead us from focusing on the real problems of casino and event security, the abysmal performance of Metro’s SWAT team, and law enforcement’s reluctance to share accurate information.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Armed Man in Lyon County Antagonizes Utilities Staff, Upset at Reaction and Arrest


Lyon County logo
 According to a random guy on YouTube, rural Lyon County is a hotbed of civil rights violations! Just kidding… I wish it were April Fools’.

As the RGJ reported, a Dayton man annoyed county employees at the Dayton Public Utilities by filming video, not answering reasonable questions, and then got upset when someone who had the phone shoved in her face, quite naturally, took the phone he was filming with away from him. Then he threw a fit, got his phone back, hung around the building, and was arrested.

Anthony Passalacqua, a self-described EMT (he also claimed he was in the Army and “was in law enforcement”), was arrested on charges of brandishing and trespassing. Passalacqua apparently was openly carrying a pistol as well, which Sheriff McNeil affirmed to the RGJ was indeed legal.

“First Amendment Auditors,” as these people who make videos call themselves, engage in entering public buildings or public spaces and filming until they are either confronted by police or security, or someone asks them what they are doing. Usually, the “auditor’s” obdurately rude reaction escalates the encounter into what they term a “violation”.

The video is cringeworthy and the comments even worse. After strolling around the parking lot, describing where he is, Passalacqua enters the office.
Anthony Passalacqua, c. Lyon County Sheriff via RGJ

He is fairly quickly questioned as to why he is filming. When met by the officer manager, he immediately goes outside as if he was intimidated. Instead of saying “First Amendment Audit, ma’am,” instead he is defensive, asks his own questions, such as “Who are you that I have to answer to?”, and reiterates essentially “you’re in public, this is a public building,” etc. One of his snarky rejoinders is: “Why don’t you write to Congress and tell them to change the First Amendment?”

Passalacqua called his “audit” a “fail” because someone questioned why he was doing and why. I guess with the bar that low, it makes all the open carry clarification encounters that end in “sorry, you were right,” failures too. Education in pursuit of compliance does not seem to be one of the “auditors’” interests, a marked difference between these YouTubers and gun rights advocates.

Things go pear-shaped when Passalacqua  goes into a second office. Inside, he puts the camera very close to the woman’s face, she pushes the camera away. A natural reaction, I would argue. He claimed, via text on the video, that she was blocking his exit, and immediately screams “Do not touch me!” Only audio of this incident is available and it is important to note that the video was edited. During the “scuffle” Passalacqua screams, “Do not approach me, you are making me in fear for my life.” Note: taking a phone from someone does not constitute a threat to life nor does it meet the definition of “theft.”

Passalacqua also said: “Nevada law says that in the presence of two or more people I’m allowed to defend myself.” That is incorrect. He is misquoting one of the brandishing statutes (which ironically can be construed against Passalacqua). It is, in fact, illegal to cause a disturbance in a public building and given the Passalacqua’s behavior, I would bet a jury would find that he precipitated the entire incident and overreacted to any alleged wrong done to him.

Mike Workman, Utilities Director, came out and ensured the phone is returned within about a minute. Rightly, Workman calls out Passalacqua’s behavior, saying “You can’t treat our staff that way.” Workman had a very valid point. Passalacqua was upset that the staff asked reasonable questions about what he was doing, which Passalacqua refused to answer. That is his right. However, the disconnect is in a total disrespect for civility. These “audits” are about causing trouble, not finding it. Human nature and honest mistakes of law or facts does not constitute tyranny. It would be entirely another thing for staff to get upset if Passalacqua was filming them fudging overtime slips or stuffing petty cash into their pockets.

The rabid anti-government “First Amendment audit” crowd would have you believe that merely asking a question about someone filming in a frankly suspicious manner is a violation of the Constitution. They probably think security asking a guy who set up a camera tripod in the State Museum to take it down for safety reasons is worthy of treason charges. I do not think that office workers, even though they are public employees, should be held to the same standards of calm circumspection as police officers are.

The office manager articulates her concerns as a person—not an employee of the government—but an average human being who has a legitimate concern about her safety. Is this a disgruntled customer, angry over his increased sewer rates, who is going to follow staff home? “Who are you and why are you filming?” is a lawful question. It’s not violation to ask and entirely reasonable to expect a satisfactory explanation.

Normal folks, unware of this person or these “audits” would instinctively be unnerved and think of their safety. Passalacqua could have honestly answered and left it at that. Had Passalacqua stated he was seeing how staff reacted to his filming as part of a “First Amendment audit,” that likely would have been the end of it, aside from raised eyebrows and stifled giggles. But he didn’t.

The only thing I would consider problematic on the part of the county employees is taking the camera, but that is a natural response under the circumstances. A cop should know better; an officer worker who just happens to work for the county does not have that higher expectation of decorum. Given the confrontational and suspicious nature of the individual, I can excuse the behavior, which is something that would almost certainly happen between exclusively private individuals.

I would argue that asking what someone is doing is a minimal intrusion into their privacy and upon their supposed right to film, additionally, if they refused to answer, in these days of mass shootings and terrorist attacks, that lacking an answer such as “First Amendment audit, ma’am,” would constitute reasonable suspicion (at least the encounter) that such a person may be up to no good.

For example, other than police car enthusiasts or “auditors,” what other good explanation is there for videotaping the secure parking lot and exit of a police station? A reasonable person would give an answer satisfactory enough that the average person would recognize the person isn’t planning to ambush officers as they leave on patrol or shoot up county offices.

Frankly, if this man was doing a “First Amendment audit” of his local park by intrusively filming young girls, he would have gotten off light if all that happened was his phone was snatched away. Government officials should take note not to grab the camera, if only to deprive inconsiderate individuals like this anymore ammo.

Per Passalacqua’s YouTube video page, he claims that deputies were concerned his phone was a disguised pistol (they do exist). This was an overstatement, but they also did not shoot the armed man and returned his phone, video intact. Being “aggressive and hostile” will result in one getting zero leeway from police. In other words, play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Don’t be a jerk and you won’t be treated like one.

“First Amendment Auditors” often display incredible rudeness and indifference to polite social behavior. Passalacqua was no different. While the First Amendment excuses all kinds of words, one still owes his fellow citizens basic common courtesies; none of which Passalacqua exhibited. He became enraged that his discourteous and bellicose attitude and actions naturally inflamed human emotion and provoked a reaction. He went looking for trouble and provided the ingredients to cause it.

I have encountered these kinds of people before; their sole intent is to antagonize law enforcement, public officials, etc. into something salacious their rabid YouTube fans can get excited over. “Auditors” rely on the presence of the camera, their out-of-place appearance in whatever particular space, and their intransigent behavior to generate a response that, to them, constitutes a “violation.” Asking a question constitutes a “violation”, ignoring the “auditor’s” question constitutes a “violation”, standing nearby and watching constitutes a “violation”…

One YouTube commentator called for Mr. Workman to be executed. Nothing illegal happened in this video other than Passalacqua’s own behavior. These people hate government so much that they strain at gnats to find something to rail against. These videos are nothing more than fuel for ignorant, anti-government hatred; pornography for their sedition fantasies.

At the end of the day, the rule of law is nice, but it is nothing more than an artificial human construct. Our ability to freely film, to yell, and to not answer questions relies on the simple fact that we as a whole reserve those rights for when they are necessary and exercise them courteously. Bad behavior makes it impossible for the rest of us to have nice things. The history of gun control is rooted firmly to this principle; sure, we have Second Amendment, but a violence society or notorious killings get us bad gun laws.

Behavior like this impairs the ability to correct actual violations of important civil rights, particularly gun rights. It did not help gun rights supporters that Passalacqua was armed, but he is not characteristic of gun rights advocates. Noted advocates in Nevada also film, but with discreet, purpose-made body cameras and are always respectful, while maintaining their rights.

Of course, the gun rights advocate’s goal is to seek correction to actual injustices rather than from a self-serving motivation to portray oneself as a victim. Passalacqua’s passion, tempered with knowledge and respect for his fellow citizens, is badly needed in the gun rights community, where we fight actual willful and wanton violations of the law where appointed officials laugh in our faces.

Hopefully, in the wake of this incident and the internet freedom fighters’ threats, Lyon County doesn’t need to post stupid “no guns” signs (which prohibit concealed, but not open carry). If they do, the blame lies with Passalacqua.

Nothing untoward happened here; a man with a camera and a dangerously little amount of knowledge about his rights, and plenty of folks online cheering him on, made a little trouble. In a time where true tyranny is peeking over the horizon, and troubles are rearing their ugly head, we do not need a normal reaction to boorish behavior conflated into government malfeasance.





Californians Buying Ammo in Nevada?

Beginning Jan 1. 2018, it is illegal to import ammunition into California. See text of Prop 63 or this article for details. That means while you can buy it here, you can't bring it back into California. However, it is perfectly legal to use high capacity magazines and ammo in Nevada. California laws cannot be enforced outside of California. But California can and does spy on buyers here.

Buying what you can't get in California in Nevada? Be smart about it. Definitely don't buy firearms; that can bring federal charges and ruins private sales for the rest of us. CA DOJ agents have been known to unscrupulously surveille Nevada gun shows to identify California buyers purchasing items prohibited in California and then have them stopped by CHP or local law enforcement once they have crossed the border. If you are at a gun show or Nevada retailer, be very careful not to give these agents any probable cause.

Agents have typically identified Californians by clothing that announces that one likely is a California resident. They then follow the suspects, observe their purchases, follow them to their vehicle (bearing California plate), and once the vehicle crosses the border, marked units make a traffic stop. Of course, getting into a Nevada resident's vehicle (or a rental) that didn't immediately go back into California would ruin that scheme.

Developing a case requires constant, continuous surveillance to maintain a "chain of custody" of the prohibited items in the possession of the "suspect." Such surveillance would be thrown off if the "suspect" went back to their hotel room for an extended period of time or if the ammo or item was handed off multiple times at the gun show, especially to a Nevada resident. Agents also don't have days to keep people under constant observation, so those on multi-day visits, versus immediately going back to California would make the agents' probable cause difficult to establish.

Only idiots talk to the police and give them consent to search. Remember the phrase “I don’t answer questions and I don’t consent to searches.” Anything you can be twisted and used against you.

Any identified or suspected California DOJ agents or California police officers "on the job" out of state would have their cover compromised if gun show patrons loudly pointed out these petty tyrants and demanded the show operators eject these persons from the show. Local police have also been rumored to have escorted such agents out.

Nevada retailers are better off not asking Californians about where they're from or what they're buying. California has filed frivolous law suits against retailers out-of-state before. 


If you are breaking a tyrannical, unconstitutional law, be smart about it and be prepared to face the consequences. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

AP: We're not saying police are giving guns to crooks...

Imagine the ridiculousness of the following rhetorical headlines:

“Ex-WSP cruiser used by drug dealer.”
“Woman raped by taxi driver in former Seattle PD car.”
“Capitol Police sell cars to convicted drunk drivers.”
“Former Police Interceptor used in highway suicide attempt.”

That’s what the Associated Press has done in its “guns sold by law enforcement” article. The article seems to imply that Washington law enforcement agencies are selling guns directly to disturbed folks. The lurid headlines like “Baby Shot in Car Seat” draw the eye away from the easy to skip over the details that these guns were sold to dealers, traded for new guns, or auctioned off. This might be news to the AP, but not to any gun enthusiast.

It’s common for law enforcement to dispose sell or trade-in their used firearms for new models; the old guns are then sold to the public through licensed dealers. When Glock was new to the American market, it made a business model out of this. Police trade-in guns provide a high-quality handgun at a lower cost than an equivalent new model and often have collector value as well. This allows departments to get new guns very cheaply; a bonus in the days of cash-strapped municipalities.

Likewise confiscated firearms are sold to the public as well. It’s a practice actually mandated in several states. These confiscated guns aren’t “crime guns” in that they are murder weapons dripping blood. Instead, they are usually taken from prohibited persons, for concealed weapon violations, or other reasons. Non-weapons are disposed of by police all the time.

I argue that the whole point of the article, as Zerohedge either missed or deliberately skewed, is to discredit these practices.

The “journalists” who prepared this article omitted one important fact: each person who bought the gun from a dealer (again, a dealer, not the police), would have to pass a background check. So either the persons involved:
  1. Passed a background check, then went nuts or became criminal;
  2. Passed a background check that failed to catch their prohibited status;
  3. Had someone else buy the gun illegally (a straw purchase); or,
  4. Stole the gun;
  5. Bought the gun secondhand in an illegal private transaction.

 Such facts are inconvenient to the narrative. Imagine the figures and stories if the story was about what criminals, looneys, and bad actors did with factory-direct firearms! Read the details of the incidents carefully. They have been cherry picked to involve—key word “involve”—a gun that somehow came from local police.

“BABY SHOT IN CAR SEAT”
Found a gun, not the murder weapon.

“TEXT THREATS”
Merely owned a shotgun that happened to be a former police weapon.

“JUVENILES IN STOLEN CAR”
Stole a car, didn't threaten anybody with the gun, just had it.

“DRUNKEN FELON”
How did the felon get the gun? Did pass a flawed background check? Did some buy the gun for him in a straw purchase? Did someone else buy it, then sell it illegally in violation of the unenforceable universal background check law? Five years passed; did he buy it legally when he was not a felon?

“PROHIBITED FROM HAVING GUN”
Felon in possession of a stolen gun.

“DRUG HOUSE ASSAULT”
Domestic dispute, no weapon involved. Just happened to find a cheap .22 rifle that was disposed of by police.

“THREATS TO KILL”
Also owned 15 other guns, not sold by local police.


The hoplopathically-biased liberal media doesn’t want the public to own guns. They would love to get guns out of public hands and paint an innocent police program, one that brings money to the departments, new weapons into officer’s hands, and gives the poor a cheap way to protect themselves, as well as make the police look like monsters. Such misleading and malicious “journalism” ought to fall under libel laws. The mainstream media is dying a little more each day because of their constant penchant for lying and promoting their progressive agenda any way they can. 

Thursday, January 4, 2018

"Concealed Carry Training is BS"

Opinions on the Internet, oil, 1775
On our Facebook discussion group, one particularly inarticulate fellow opined that the standard, eight hour concealed firearm permit course is “bullshit.” He criticized “cheap” courses, being a student of one himself, and spurned the idea that the courses were not to his idea of practicality. He also doesn’t like “stupid people” (who does?) and poor people that don’t yet own their own gun. The poster displayed a total lack of understanding what the class is intended to be.

First, the content of the training is mandated by the state, specifically delegated to a consensus of the certifying authorities, the Nevada Sheriffs’ and Chiefs’ Association, a private organization of all the sheriffs and police chiefs in Nevada. The syllabus is not bad. It is an excellent introductory class on owning, shooting, and carrying pistols and a good refresher to those who know guns, but not much about carrying them.

Concealed weapon permit classes are aimed at the lowest common denominator. The class itself is nothing more than an act of responsibility by the government to make sure that those “stupid people” have had a brush with knowledge. It’s a giant disclaimer so the powers that be can say: “We gave you an opportunity to know better than to shoot someone armed only with a bad attitude.” It is a final check upon unbridled ignorance and stupidity for some, for others a  certification of redundant knowledge, and for most the first taste and start of a hunger for more training.

Concealed weapon laws were originally intended to prevent the carrying of guns at all, ostensibly to reduce the amount of violence. Early permits were merely free passes for politically connected. The system was abused in both directions; so loose that the law might as well not exist, or so tight that no one, no matter how qualified, could legally carry. The right to armed self-defense was often ignored. Open carry was legal, yet carrying a gun had been so badly stigmatized that few took the trouble to carry openly.

When “shall issue” came into effect, states couldn’t imagine just letting people carry guns without some sort of training. In the popular imagination, safely carrying a gun was something that people had forgotten, and the “aftermarket” training community that exists today didn’t exist then. While many might seek out training on their own, many people wouldn’t and given the supposed unfamiliarity with handguns, having no training requirement seemed risky.

Nevada’s legislature in 1995 probably meant well; many truly derived benefit from the required training. However, without it being mandatory, far too many for Carson City’s taste would never have gotten any training. With handgun ownership and carry much less popular than it was today, the idea of relying on the people’s better judgment seemed anathema, so a very basic failsafe was added in the form of the training we all know today.

Many compare the CCW class to Drivers’ Ed, which is practically of the same basic, introductory quality. Like Drivers’ Ed the CCW course predicates itself on expecting that the shooter either has had firearms training/practice before or will continue to train or shoot more. Remember all those hours with Mom or Dad beside you stomping on an invisible brake pedal? It is practice, not theory, that makes a driver and shooter.

I argue that we take driving far less seriously than carrying a gun. Guns, for the vast majority of the population, including most criminals, are weapons of last resort. Perhaps that is why only a miniscule fraction of defensive gun uses result in a shot fired; most are a simply display of the gun. In that sense, training to “draw from a concealment garment and shoot” is overrated. Though the conservative estimate is 100,000 such defensive uses each year, we rarely hear about them.

Despite the idiocy of what we see on the roads during even a fifteen minute trip, we don’t hear about the massive numbers of traffic citations and accidents that happen every day. By comparison, gun accidents are so few that they are notable and are reported on, often leading to the impression that they are more common than they really are. Behind the wheel, we casually talk, text, and generally allow ourselves to be reckless and distracted. No sensible gun owner looks at their phone while sending lead downrange.

Even with the dangers of texting while driving or buzzed driving well understood, we still do it. Some are far worse violators than others, but we don’t require every sixteen year old to take a police academy driving course.

There is no amount of training that can teach someone not to be stupid. In light of three prominent cases of licensed concealed carriers making major mistakes this past year (a homicide, an assault, and an assault/suicide), the training didn’t matter a tinker’s damn. Both of those are extremes, but nothing is foolproof. No class can teach self-control and discipline.

Training like an operator is not required for the vast majority of citizens who don’t want to become a felon for putting a pistol in their pocket or purse. Many armed citizens who use their guns do just fine without super fancy training and it does not put them in the “I know it when I see it” subjective-objective category of “stupid” people. If we made it mandatory to get top tier training, the “stupid” people would simply carry like they did before shall-issue: illegally and dangerously.

Our crass critic opined that it should be “100 hours or more of life situations and drawing and firing from concealment and common sense classes.” He was “pissed off” that some people borrowed guns to go to the class. Wow! Guess the DMV should ban teenagers from showing up in Mom’s Volvo. Such an elitist and disdainful attitude is disgusting and is a major problem in the firearms community and many other hobbies. And you couldn’t forcibly shove common sense into some people if you had the latest alien implant technologies.

Most of the criticism on “free” courses or those who just take basic training is that the person is dangerously underqualified to carry. In that case, it’s more likely the person and not the training that’s to blame. Until the latter half of the 20th Century, no training courses were required for pistol ownership or carry. Far too much negative judgment is made on those who cannot afford expensive, high-quality combat courses. Sorry, poor people have a right to protect themselves too.

There are those who have no choice but to seek out the cheapest or free class because they are poor. Hi-Points exist because even poor people have a right to armed self-defense. A woman who wants to defend herself safely and legally, but can barely afford the application fees right now, let alone a gun, might very well need to borrow/rent a gun, saving up during the 120 days until Metro approves her permit. Others might just be taking the class for the knowledge and don’t even own a gun. Rights should not be abrogated by arbitrary regulation or by excessive cost.

Many of us here would prefer it if every gun owner got adequate training, or even just the basics. In a perfect world, government could mandate such training without it becoming, either by accident or design, an obstacle to armed self-defense. Proponents of constitutional carry support no obstacles like permits and training, not because they don’t care about gun safety or education, but because they know governments will muck things up so badly many won’t even bother. California and New York are examples that requirements will be abused or so difficult to comply with that many give up without even trying.

Anything that limits the ability of an individual to protect themselves—to own and carry a gun—is dangerous. Waiting periods and concealed weapon permits are nothing more than obstacles to the law abiding. Concealed weapon permits do nothing to disarm the criminal, instead they provide a reason for arrest should a cop encounter an armed bad guy. For the rest of us, we will risk our safety to preserve our freedom; we will not carry where it is prohibited, even if that puts us at risk of becoming victims of criminal violence.

For the very reason of government abuse of authority, no training should be mandatory. That would also immediately eliminate one of the criticisms of the original poster who derided “cheap” and free courses. Without a mandatory requirement, many of the low-quality promotional classes would disappear when the cheap students stopped coming. No one would pay a crappy instructor for crappy training that they didn’t need. Capitalistic market forces would take over; quality trainers would attract quality students and training would rapidly shift away from a “check the box” mentality. Money wasted on perfunctory classes would be spent getting those advanced techniques.

Ideally, the basic gun safety courses would be a free service of the gun community or part of public education, obviating the need for a mandatory class. Now in our present reality, not everyone is like the “gun nut” who easts, sleeps, and breathes guns. Training is expensive; heck, I can’t afford to train as much as I’d like. But I am intelligent and can read/watch techniques to practice on my own and I get more training when I can. The value of training on the student’s end comes down to their own interest.

Many of the folks who just get the basic training do just fine; they have sense enough not to shoot stupidly or try to be a hero. Studies have shown that often gun owners really do search for training, if not required, or more training than is required. A lot of us find it interesting and fun. In the cases of poor folks, a sensible student overcomes their disability, that is a financial one, by looking for alternate sources of training. They go online and read websites like this or watch YouTube videos.

This is where a quality instructor comes in. An instructor who is good at his or her job and who is a good teacher will make those eight hours of basic drudgery into something fascinating and engaging. They will work in concepts, if not actual practice, of the reality of carrying daily. Good instructors don’t sell additional courses, they show and convince their classes the need for more and continuous training. Skeptics who may just be attending to get their permission slip have found themselves in the camp of wanting to know more. Good instructors are like that teacher in high school who made you care about X subject and made your life-long passion blossom.

Where the truth to the critic’s words lies are within the heart of the person that takes a cheap course just for the certification and takes nothing from it. A poor instructor who fails to engage that person then becomes complicit in teaching a bad class. We’ve heard the tales of this or that gun store’s class or saw the incompetent instructor on YouTube. Plenty of instructors will abbreviate classes, ignore dangerous shooters, or just forgo instruction altogether. Yet again, it takes a bad instructor and a bad student to make a bad class.

There are good cheap or free classes, but those are far and few in between. They are flukes. Many who take cheap or free classes are cheating themselves out of vital knowledge because in cutting financial corners, they don’t vet the instructor to see if the course itself is “cheap.” You can find great free courses (I did), but chances are, if you care more about saving a buck than what you will learn, even the best instruction would be wasted on you. So the critic should be complaining not about the courses per se, but the individual who doesn’t care what they learn.

Training has real value and quality training ever so much more. Forget about the cost; it’s the instructor’s reputation that matters. The student must also be willing to put in the intellectual effort to learn and learn effectively. Like insurance, get the best training you can find and get the most of it as you can afford. Continually seek self-improvement and the instructors that push knowledge, not a cheap, convenient, or gimmicky class.

And for heaven’s sake, stop judging the Great Unwashed who didn’t spend two full weeks with an ex-Navy SEAL learning how to stop the next mass shooting using only silver bullets from your Cabot custom 1911 made with real unicorn dust and grips made with wood from the True Cross. And if you are going to bitch about a cheap class, don’t admit to us that you took a cheap class yourself. Sheesh.




Monday, January 1, 2018

2017 Defensive Gun Uses



2017 had at least 40 self-defense gun uses (not counting uniformed police shootings) in Nevada that were documented in major media sources.

The last incident was on New Years’ Eve when a man, attempting to carjack or enter an occupied vehicle, was shot. One robber was shot with his own gun. Despite one of our own (a member of the gun community) sadly succumbing to opioid addiction withdrawal and wounding by gunshot staff of a pain clinic, concealed carriers ran to the sound of gunfire ready to assist, had the shooter not taken his own life.

Tragically, a security guard missed a robber and shot an innocent store clerk by mistake. Two other incidents went badly for armed citizens who injudiciously used their firearms (and their mouths). We remind everyone to get trained, know when shooting is justifiable, to keep their tempers in check, and also to never speak to the police without an attorney present.

The most conservative estimate of defensive gun uses is 100,000 annually in the United States and most never result in a shot being fired. High estimates range to upwards of two million defensive gun uses. Even counting suicides and intentional non-fatal self-injuries (which are not contributor’s to the average person’s risk of interpersonal harm), firearms are used as much as, if not more often, for good than for evil.

Also, unknown persons also attempted to steal police shotguns to “fight back” against possible attackers during the October 1 terrorist attack. Where evil abounds, good tends to go unnoticed or forgotten. Despite crime, horror, and tragedy, far more people are alive and safe because of guns than are killed by them.

Download spreadsheet of DGUs

Saturday, December 23, 2017

How to Tell the ATF to Step Off Bump-Fire Regulation

Well, despite admitting that the ATF didn’t have the ability under the standard use and meaning of the English language and the use of a former mental tool known as “logic,” which disappeared from existence recently, they want to classify bump-fire stocks as machine guns. They want comments, and some answers. So give them answers, but also politely tell them “shall not be infringed.”

Skip below if you want to write a letter. I’ve included my thoughts on suggested responses to made the ATF attempt to ban these item harder without providing the hoplopaths any ammo. Please take the time to send a letter.

Here’s the original determination letter. An extremely butthurt “batfucker” (old term for the much derided BATF, which added “E” for “Explosives” once that word got out there) wrote a letter to Congress bitching (or defending, you decide) that the ATF simply didn’t have the ability to make bump-fire stocks into “machine guns.”

As much as we are disgusted by the man’s bootlicking attitude towards firearms restriction and the cries to regulate inanimate objects, we give the man and his colleagues a point for steadfastly admitting the law means what it says. “Machine gun” is defined as one shot per pull of the trigger; bump-fire stocks are a stock-and-pistol-grip that slides freely, as if in a track. The shooter must pull the gun forward with their non-dominant hand while holding the pistol grip, pulling the trigger, and tucking the stock into the shoulder normally with their dominant hand. This allows the trigger to push itself against the finger that is held stationar.

Bump-fire probably actually saved lives, versus an actual belt-fed machine gun, in Vegas. Imagine continuous strings of 100-250 rounds, with a quick barrel and magazine change. If Paddock had been planning his attack since around the November 2016, he would have had time to legally purchase any machine gun he wanted. He had the money and the clean record.

And if he had, so what? Criminals are always going to be criminals. These kind of crimes are relatively rare and NFA-item crimes even more so. Frankly, I’m more worried about an out-of-control government, be it federal, state, or local, or a rampaging racist mob, trying to kill me than I am about some absolutely batshit rich guy going nuts. At least the Clark County Commission acted ahead on the threat of Muslims with Trucks® and is installing bollards on the Strip.

So what if this was designed to get around NFA restrictions? Machine guns should be legal and unregulated. In about a decade, the National Firearms Act and most other function/designed based gun control regulations will be impossible to enforce when anyone can print up a machine gun at home. They can’t prosecute everyone. Just imagine if the government tried to regulate free speech because the Internet is destroying the long-standing political and mainstream media monopoly on ideas.

Manufacturers

“6. For what use or uses have you marketed bump stock devices?”

Bump-fire stocks are designed and intended to increase the rate the firer’s finger to pull the trigger in order to increase the cyclic rate. This weapon is intended for recreation and weapons controllability training. Bump-fire stocks rely on the coordination and dexterity of the firer to operate properly, thus building general shooting skills and those applicable to military or militia service.

“9. What costs do you expect to be associated with the disposition of existing bump stock device inventory?”

Our costs are expected to be our entire unsold inventory of _____, a cost of _______. Also, our equipment, facilities, and other logistic, production, and business costs and investments would amount to a loss of __________. We expect the United States Treasury to fully compensate us for our losses.

“10. If ATF classified bump stock devices as “machineguns” under the Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended, and the National Firearms Act of 1934, as amended, do you believe that there would be a viable (profitable) law-enforcement and/or military market for these devices? If so, please describe that market and your reasons for believing such a viable market exists.”

No such market would exist precisely because the price point between an actual machine gun versus a semi-automatic rifle and bump-fire stock would favor the machine gun, without the drawbacks inherent to bump-fire systems. Law-enforcement and the military is not restricted to an arbitrarily limited pool of firearms nor a Draconian purchase approval (registration) process. Additionally, we dispute that bump-fire stocks need to have a law-enforcement or military market in order to be available to the general public without infringement.

Bump-fire systems have application for military training of the public, i.e. the unorganized militia, as machine guns are generally unobtainable for most of the general public. While we do not conceive that any rational person could believe that the definition of “machine gun” covers bump-fire stocks, as the ATF has previously admitted, such devices allow high cyclic rates. This can be used by the unorganized militia as weapons controllability training should they be called into military service or needed to secure a free state.

Retailers

“15. For what use or uses have you marketed bump stock devices?”

Our costs are expected to be our entire unsold inventory of _____, a cost of _______. We expect the United States Treasury to fully compensate us for our losses.

“19. What costs do you expect to be associated with the disposition of existing bump stock device inventory?”

See 9. above.

Consumers

“23. For what purposes are the bump stock devices used or advertised?”

Choose your answer carefully. Do not answer anything along the lines of “because I can’t get a machine gun.” Those who would ban bump-fire stocks want to point to comments that indicate the stocks are used in place of machine guns, which they have made unobtanium for most of us. Comments that state bump-fire “is essentially a machine gun” is music to hoplopaths’ ears.  High rates of fire can be described as “simulated high cyclic rates” rather than “simulated machine gun fire” or “simulated automatic fire.”

A nice little (and polite) statement along the lines of “don’t cave into political security theater, you admitted yourself you don’t have the authority to regulate these as machine guns, the NFA is unconstitutional, and quoting the Second Amendment,” would be appropriate. Let them know we aren’t going to take this sitting down.

The ATF wants an address and your name. The records will be made public, although few will see them. Nothing is wrong with using your initials, a pseudonym (like G. C. Gates, not Shallnot B. Infringed), and giving your address as the nearest post office, general delivery. Such as:

John M. Browning
General Delivery
Ogden, Utah
84401

Your letter must be signed and reference: Docket 2017R-22

Fax your letter to: (202) 648-9741
Attn: Docket 2017R-22

The full notice is here, with instructions to use the online submission portal.