When Did You Stop Beating Your Wife

In the past, we’ve spent some time beating up the group “Minnesota Gun Rights” – a group based in Iowa, affiliated with the National Association of Gun Rights.  NAGR’s affiliates nationwide have a fairly cohesive strategy:

  1. Lead with a lot of no-compromise rhetoric – often on non-issues – on cheap social media.
  2. Use that rhetoric to raise a lot of money.
  3. Claim credit for other groups’ work to raise more money.

We see this yet again this cycle.

MGR is flogging this ad on social media:

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With this caption:

Senator Rod Skoe voted AGAINST pro-gun Constitutional Carry legislation! Add your name to those demanding he apologize for betraying gun owners!

APOLOGIZE, Sen. Skoe!

Now, Rod Skoe is a DFLer – but he’s about as outstate a DFLer as you can get.  He’s been solidly pro-2nd-Amendment.  He’s one of the linchpins of the gun movement’s bipartisanship (outside the 494-694 ring) in this state.  He’s one of the good guys, and always has been. 

Oh, yeah – and there never has been a vote on “Constitutional Carry” (which would make the 2nd Amendment your carry permit) on the floor of the Minnesota Senate.   Or, to the best of my recollection, the House.  A quixotic Constitutional Carry bill from Brandon Peterson died in committee, I think, last session – but that was it.

If Minnesota Gun Rights says it, its probably false.

 

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Are Signs

Trevor Noah – who inherited “The Daily Show” from Jon Stewart – took a swipe at the restaurant in Lonsdale that had the infamous “Muslims Get Out” sign (which may have been less a matter of “hate” than “crummy editing”, by the way).

Noah (with emphasis added):

You know what’s also strange is this man genuinely thought people who go around blowing people up would be stopped by a sign? You realize you’re talking to terrorists, not vampires. They don’t need to be invited in, alright? Or maybe he’s onto something, because if you think about it, we’ve never tried that. We’ve never actually tried to repel terrorists with signs.

Sure we have.  But I digress.  Noah:

Yeah, maybe that’s all the airports need is a sign that says “No Terrorists,” yes? Yeah, and then guys are going to be walking going, “Oh, I was going to blow up the airport, but the rules are rules and they said I can’t come in. They said I can’t. They said I can’t come in.”

So, Trevor Noah: you’re saying that putting up a sign that impugns the vast, innocent majority, doesn’t actually prevent evil people from carrying out their plans, then?

According to Trevor Noah, the Mall of America might not be completely safe in perpetuity because of these signs. This could cause problems, couldn’t it?

Huh.  Let’s continue to explore this, Trevs.  Have your people call my people.

After they sweep your jaw up off the floor.

Fear The Walking Sheep

Millennials are vexing their baby boomer elders/bosses by breaking ranks on the mother of all individual rights issues – gun control.

The millennial generation just isn’t buying the BS:

The article – by millennial filmmaker Jesse Winton – explores a number of theories for this phenomenon, both Winton’s own and some of the inevitably condescending, laughable ones from the big media.

I’ve got my own theory.

If “The Walking Dead” and its various spinoffs aren’t the #1 cable show among millennials, they’re certainly on the short list.  They – and the popularity of dystopian literature, TV and films ranging like “The Hunger Games” franchise through the popularity of frayed-around-the-edges entertainment from “Batman” through “Narcos” – reflect a whole different attitude about the world, and at least some subconscious view of the future, than previous generations had.

But the popularity of “Walking Dead” in particular – on its surface, a story about a zombie apocalypse, which is really a meditation on human nature in a world without external order (similar to Trulbert, although my book used satire rather than exploding zombie brains as its medium) – should tell us something about millennials’ view of the world; they see, consciously or not, that “order” is an artificial and paper-thin construct when things go very very off the rails.

I had that same moment, 35 years ago.   It was long after the glory days of the zombie B-movie, and decades before “Walking Dead”.  My ‘ZOMPOC” moment was reading Alas Babylon by Pat Frank – the story of a small central Florida town in the middle of a Cuban Missile Crisis gone horribly, cut off from the world and left to its own devices.  The book – which I read when I was still a liberal, and still more or less in favor of some sort of gun control – and the years of observing human behavior since then, in one disaster after another, left me with the ineluctable conclusion; while humans are supremely capable of self-organization, there will be some segment of the population whose self-organization will be to prey off the rest of the world.

In disaster after disaster – from acute crises like Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, to the LA riots, to the ongoing collapses of order in places like Detroit, Oakland, Saint Louis and the less fashionable parts of Chicago – it became clear that trusting “society” to take care of you was a pollyannaish abdication of your responsibility to yourself, your family, and your society.

I think millennials – entering the workforce at a time when the things previous generations had seen as guarantees were just not happening – have questioned a lot of the assumptions that lead the smugger, more entitled parts of our society to embrace disarming the law-abiding.

Because the world is always throwing zombies of one type or another at us;  history is spectacularly unkind to the idea that there’ll be a Rick Grimes riding to your rescue, always and forever.

So Let Me Get This Straight

Australia bans vast swathes of political and cosmetically inconvenient guns – drawing the favorable attention of Barack Obama and Hillary Herself.

Thing is, Australia never really had a “gun problem”.  They had a couple of mass shootings, to which the political class responded with pure emotion.

And now?  Years after they banned most politically-charged weapons?  Well, who’da thunk it, they have a gun problem.

(The kind where criminals have guns, and use them on each other and on their innocent victims.  Not the “law-abiding citizens can protect themselves” kind of “gun problem” that so exercises Minnesota’s “gun safety” community).

Survey

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is at work in his home office.  His phone rings.  

BERG:  Hello?

POLLSTER:  Hello.  I’m Kandi, a pollster working on a combined study commissioned by Harvard University, Northeastern University, the Trace and the Guardian, four organizations dedicated to disarming Americans by any means, fair or foul.  If you have a few moments to spare, I’d like to ask you some questions about gun ownership.

BERG:  Go ahead.

POLLSTER:   How many guns do you own?

BERG:  How many guns am I going to admit I own to an anonymyous rep for  four organizations that are dedicated to ensuring that Americans are disarmed, docile sheep,?

POLLSTER:   That’s correct!

BERG:  None!  Guns are scary!

POLLSTER:  So that’s no guns, then?

BERG:  As far as you know.

POLLSTER:  Wow. It’s amazing how the number of gun owners is dropping, according to our Fact-Based Research ®.

BERG:  It is, isn’t it?  Absolutely astounding.

SURVEY:  We’re also finding three percent of American adults own 50% of the guns!

BERG:  Huh.  I’m also gonna guess 3% of American adults own 50% of the iPhone 7s, and roughly .000001 of all Americans own 90% of all newspapers.

SURVEY:  No comment!

BERG:  Naturally.

SURVEY:  Now, if you did buy a gun, why would you buy one?  Are you a hunter, a target shooter, or would you buy a gun due to fear?

BERG:  If I did have a gun, which I don’t, as I already told you, it’d be for self-defense.

POLLSTER:  OK.  “Fear”.

BERG:  No, self-defense.  A prudent response to the vicissitudes of human nature.

POLLSTER:  Right.  Fear.

BERG:  Nope.  A rational, prudent assessment of and response to life’s actual risks, based on data, ability and experience.

POLLSTER:  Right.  We call that “fear”.  It’s just a category.

BERG:  Naturally.  Hey, someone’s calling…

POLLSTER:  I didn’t hear a click…

(But BERG has already hung up the phone).

And SCENE.

 

Chill

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Rep. Keith Ellison introduced the Campus Gun Policy Transparency Act which would require colleges to disclose their policies relating to guns on campus.  He claims existing federal law requires colleges to publish campus safety information but not specific policies related to guns.  In addition, he claims colleges are not required to report gun-related crime statistics.

 “Students have a right to know if their fellow students are bringing guns to class.” 

No, they don’t.  They don’t have a right to know if their fellow students had an abortion, voted for Democrats, worship in a mosque or drive a Prius.  Those are all private activities, nobody’s business but your own. 

 There is no evidence that guns on campus cause crime (and that’s not due to lack of reporting statistics – if there were lots of shootings on campus, emergency room records would be conclusive proof).

 The only possible reason for requiring a federal campus gun policy but not a campus abortion policy, mosque policy or campus Prius policy, it to chill Second Amendment rights.

 So, pretty much par for the course for Democrats.

 Joe Doakes

To a conservative, rights are endowed to us by our creator.

To a liberla, “rights” are perks granted to us by a benevolent government.

The Good Guy With The Gun

The man who shot the apparently ISIS-affiliated maniac at the Crossroads Mall in Saint Cloud over the weekend has been IDed as Jason Falconer – a carry permit instructor, civilian carry advocate, and part-time officer and former chief of the tiny, tiny police department of tiny, tiny Albany Minnesota.

And if you’re a wanna-be terrorist, Falconer’s just about the last civilian you want to run into when you’re going on your rampage in a “gun free zone”:

USPSA Shooter,  3-Gunner, and NRA-certified firearms instructor Jason Falconer has been identified as the man who shot and killed a 22-year-old Somali immigrant who went on a stabbing rampage inside a St. Cloud, (MN) Mall on Saturday.

The apparent terrorist—who apparently asked victims if they were Muslims before stabbing them—was engaged by Falconer inside the mall.

Emphasis added by me:

Falconer is the president and owner of Tactical Advantage LLC, a shooting range and tactical training facility with a strong focus on arming concealed carriers. He’s also a former chief of the Albany (MN) police department, and he remains a part-time officer.

And is there bias involved? Oh, yes:

But Falconer has consistently been identified in the mainstream mediaonly as as a “former police chief” and  “off-duty police officer.”

Falconer’s side gig?  Ensuring law-abiding citizens are armed, and capable of doing…

…exactly what he did.  I’ve been documenting these sorts of cases as they occur over here (and feel free to submit more of ’em!).

As Glenn Reynolds puts it, we The People need to be a pack, not a herd.

UPDATE: David French notes the obvious; Falconer was not only in the right place at the right time, but he was the right person.  But then, anyone can be:

You can be Jason Falconer. In most communities in this country, you can not only own and carry a weapon for personal defense, you can also receive comprehensive training. You have virtually no control over whether you’re at the right place at the right time, but you do have control over whether you’re the right person.

And as has been noted in the comment section, this incident highlights the need for “Stand your Ground” legislation; a non-cop would have had a “duty to retreat” – to make a reasonable effort to disengage in the face of the attack.

What does “reasonable” mean?  That your efforts to avoid using lethal force are enough to convince the cops, prosecutors and potentially a jury that you did your best to avoid using lethal force.  It’s vague; it’s intended to be vague, concentrating the power of life and death in the hands of prosecutors.

“Stand Your Ground” will be on the agenda this coming legislative session.  It’s doubtful the Senate or Governor will pass it.

So we’re gonna need a new Senate and Governor.

Connect The Dots

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Here’s an example of why Conservatives claim there is Liberal bias in the media – the entire focus of this story is misplaced.

 The article says the shooter was a National Guardsman and makes the point that he and his wife both are members of the Minnesota National Guard. 

 Yeah?  So what?  Were they in uniform at the time of the shooting?  Acting on orders?  Using military-issued weapons?  If not, then their membership in the Guard is entirely irrelevant to the story.

 Why emphasize the Guard?  Why not “former high school drummer” or “enthusiastic fly fisherman” or “diesel mechanic” or “Lutheran church member?”

 Possibly because in the Liberal mind, the Guard is military, which uses assault rifles, which are bad, so naturally this guy also is bad, probably has PTSD, never should have been allowed to own a gun but for America’s militaristic culture of gun violence and the never-sufficiently-to-be-damned NRA.

 Pathetic.

 Joe Doakes

In the world of “fuzzy logic”, the liberal mind is God’s own lint trap.

A Good Guy With A Gun

Two men attacked a woman in a WalMart parking lot in Shawnee, Kansas, hitting her in the head.

An unarmed man attempted to intervene.  The assailants shot him.

Another Good Samaritan – armed with a legally-owned firearm – responded, shooting and killing one of the attackers (some emphasis added by me).

Police said the second man ran off. Police originally believed they captured the second suspect using a K-9 officer, however, that person was not connected with the incident. Police are working to identify the second suspect at this time.

The good Samaritan who was shot and the woman who was injured were both initially listed in critical condition. The woman has since been released from the hospital. The good Samaritan who was injured had surgery Sunday night. He is being identified only as a 33-year-old Kansas City, Missouri resident. The second good Samaritan, a 36-year-old DeSoto, Kansas man, was interviewed by police and released.

Interviewed and released.  Written between the lines; he was carrying legally (Kansas has Constitutional Carry), and the shoot was righteous.

Prayers for the good samaritan who didn’t have the means to deter being shot.

And for the good samaritan who did.  Right though he seems to have been (and events will no doubt vindicate him completely), it’s as traumatic for a righteous shooter as anyone.

Imbalance

Joe Doakes emails us a link to a post by Clayton Cramer, who compares murder rates in Idaho and western Canada:

Idaho: 2.0/100,000

For the Canadian provinces:
Manitoba: 3.43
Saskatechewan: 2.13
Alberta: 2.52
Yukon: 6.88
Nunavut: 10.93

Yet all those provinces have Canada’s restrictive gun control laws.

Alhough, at least anecdotally, people in Saskatchewan and Alberta were the least obedient to Canada’s gun control laws when they were passed.

But I digress:

Idaho at that point had a shall-issue concealed weapon license law (now,  no licenses are required).  I can buy a gun without background check or waiting period, either at a licensed dealer or a gun show.  Friends own machine guns, completely legally.  Idaho is very similar demographically to Saskatechewan, Alberta, and Manitoba.  If gun availability or porous borders make , Idaho should be substantially worse than those Canadian provinces, not better.  Of course the gun control nuts don’t care about murder rates; this is really about cultural disparagement.

And cultural conquest.

Neerja Bhanot

It was thirty years ago today that Neerja Bhanot won India’s highest honor for bravery in peacetime, the Ashoka Chakra Award when her jetliner, Pan Am Flight 73 from Mumbai to the US, was hijacked by terrorists from Abu Nidal, who were specifically targeting Americans.

Wikipedia takes up the story:

After 17 hours, the hijackers opened fire and set off explosives. Neerja Bhanot opened one of the doors. Although she could have been the first to jump out of the aircraft and flee to safety when she opened the door, she decided not to and instead started helping the other passengers to escape. Neerja was shot while shielding three unaccompanied American children from a hail of bullets of the hijackers. Out of a total of 41 American passengers, two were killed during the hijacking. A child on board, then aged seven, is now a captain for a major airline and has stated that Neerja Bhanot has been his inspiration and he owes every day of his life to her. 

I’m including the story partly due to its historical value…

…and partly to counter the notion that the cultural left continues to push – the idea that the individual is helpless in the face of adversity, to say nothing of aggression, without “the village” – the suffocating fog of government there to protect and validate them.  This thesis is trashed on a nearly-daily basis.  Faced with imponderable evil, against the most daunting odds, ordinary people do the most extraordinary things.  To attempt to has always been considered one of the greatest virtues of mankind.

And I’m here, in part, to keep reminding you of that.

So that, more importantly, you can remind others of that.

Our Elite Lefty Alt Media

After spending a few weeks going full-blown fanboy over the Pillsbury Foundation/Bloomberg Youth’s “gun buyback” last weekend, the leftymedia has its feelings hurt by the mockery the conservative alternative media (including this blog) has heaped on the “events”.

The piece, by the inevitable Corey Zurowski, is entitled “Gun fans mock Minneapolis’ buyback program over crude homemade shotgun” – after the shotgun that our Joe Doakes noted at one of the buybacks.

legal shotgun

Oh, we mock the buybacks for a lot more reasons that that.

We mock the buybacks because they don’t affect crime. Never have, never will.

They didn’t take any guns “off the street”; virtually all the people turning in guns were middle-aged folks from the surrounding area who were trading junk guns for more in gift cards than they’d ever get from a buyer.

We mocked the bald-faced graft – the transfer of money from Pillsbury Foundation donors and Minneapolis taxpayers (via the dozen or so cops that were working the “events”) to – let’s be charitable – “artists”, as well as enterprising rummage-salers.

We mocked the media (smile, Corey Z!) for their unability or unwilingness to dig past the press releases; at both buybacks they ran out of gift cards after *maybe* 10-15 guns were turned in. If the buyback “bought” more than 30 guns, no witness can confirm it. Most of the guns were garbage that were “donated”, AKA “thrown away” at the buyback.

The shotguns *was* functional – just go google “Slamfire Shotgun”; you can do it yourself. The homemade shotgun was a prank, a joke played at the (literal) expense of the smug, sanctimonious, ELCA-haired dreamsicles running the events – but probably the LEAST mock-worthy part of the event.

Oh, and we mock Corey Zurowski as a “reporter”;  in the caption of the photo of the homemade-yet-parodic shotgun ,he sniffed “Gun fans allege this primitive weapon was turned in a Minneapolis’ buyback event. There’s just no evidence that it actually happened.”

Click to enlarfge

Click to enlarge

But then, in the final paragraph of his own article, Zurowski carries a quote from the Minneapolis police’s public relations officer: “The gun in question was turned in,” says Minneapolis police spokeswoman Catherine Micheal. “Our people inspected it, found out it was operable, however crude the construction, and that’s why it was accepted.”

So yeah, we do some mocking there, too.

And it’s absolutely glorious.

Buyback Diary

The Betsy “The Besty!” Hodges regime in Minneapolis held a gun buyback (via the Pillsbury Foundation, a non-profit that is part of the DFL family in Minneapolis) over the weekend.

Kind of.

I originally intended to attend – but other events caught up with me on Saturday morning.

Fortunately, Joe Doakes from Como Park attended.  He emailed his report:

Saturday, August 2, 2016

9:47 a.m.        

I am standing in the rain at Fire Station 17 on South 38th Street, waiting for the Pillsbury-sponsored Minneapolis gun buy-back to begin. The firemen are here but nobody else in authority.  There are six cars of middle-aged white people waiting to sell their guns.  A cop just pulled up.  We must be getting started.

10:15

Finally getting started.  I’m sixth in line (technically seventh: a woman in a wheelchair and her husband are front of me but I’m counting them as one Seller).   There are about 15 people in line behind me, all middle-aged White people. 

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Middle aged guys of all races are phenomenally low crime risks.

 10:35

They’re out of money.  I turned in three pistols (limit three per customer), the Range Officer approved me for payment, but the Community Service Officer doesn’t have enough gift cards.  They ran out.  The cop in charge is on the phone calling for more gift  cards.  Or, if you want to go, just leave your guns as a voluntary donation.  No takers for that offer.

10:45

Cops just announced the gift cards are on the way, be here in an hour.  Those of us who already turned in our weapons can leave our name and number and can pick up our gift cards in an hour.  Everybody else in line hang on, they’re not buying more weapons until they get the money sorted out.  Or you can leave them for free. About two dozen middle-aged, middle-class White people in line holding various gun cases.  I think I’ll work the line to see what others are selling. 

11:30

Still no gift cards and the cops are not sure when – or – if more cards are coming.  In response to complaints, the cops now are saying that the program was advertised “quantities are limited” so it’s not their fault they were overwhelmed by demand and ran out of gift cards.  But this event is scheduled to run from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and held at two locations . . . how many people did you think would respond?   I was the SIXTH customer and I didn’t get paid.  You only budgeted enough for FIVE customers?  Seriously?

12:00

Just scored a sweet deal on a classic rifle.  A woman joined the line – now halfway down the driveway – with her husband and daughter, all holding long-gun cases.  An aunt died and left them.  One is a Remington .22 LR bolt-action single shot, almost identical to the one my Dad taught me to shoot, and it’s in great shape.  I offered her $100 which was exactly what the buy-back would pay, if they ever got more cards, if quantities weren’t limited, if she wanted to wait.  She took it.  We’re both pleased.  Another gun off the mean streets of south Minneapolis.  I’ll all sleep safer tonight.

12:30

The cops have taken down the sign and are closing the doors.  The buy-back is over, six hours early.  They’re out of money and aren’t getting more.  The cop in charge promised that everybody inside the fire station would get gift cards in the mail, just leave us your name, address and phone number (that whole anonymity thing?  Forget about that if you want your money.  Or you can leave your guns for free).  What do I care, I’m legally in possession of the weapons and they haven’t been used in any crimes so sure, here’s my name and address.  Send me my cards in the mail.

Conclusion

What a complete and pathetic joke.  This is how we fight crime?  No wonder it’s a tidal wave.  One cop in uniform running the show, three cops wearing Range Officer shirts making sure the weapons are safe, two Community Service Officers handling the money plus one young man wearing a similar shirt taking photos of the guns turned in, might have been a PR guy, all working on a Saturday?  The staff cost more than the guns.

Everybody in line was annoyed.  Started late, ran out early, promised resupply never arrived, scrambling for paper to take addresses for mailed cards, chaos from start to finish.  Total number of firearms collected could not have exceeded six dozen and based on the ones I saw, they all were junk and all were sold by people who weren’t likely to commit a crime with them anyway.  You could have gotten more guns by randomly stopping cars in North Minneapolis twelve hours from now, and taken them from people who posed a more serious danger to society – the people riding around in cars after midnight with guns in their hands and trouble on their minds.

If any private business ran itself this way, the Attorney General would be all over them for Deceptive Trade Practices which is a vile form of Consumer Fraud.  Not surprising to see Liberal Gun Banners acting like this but I felt sorry for the cops who got sucked into playing a part in the charade.  As I was standing in line waiting for payment, I commented to one of the Range Officers “Good thing you’re getting guns away from these middle-aged White people. North Minneapolis will be a lot quieter from now on” and he grimaced in reply “Yeah, well, I can’t comment on that.”   They know it’s a crock.  But if the brass wants PR, at least the overtime is good. 

Best of all, I met a buddy in line.  He was hoping to sell his shotgun for the promised $100 – hey, it’s a single-shot 12 gauge pump-action with serial number and the camo duct tape makes it “tactical.”

legal shotgun

 I wonder if they paid off?

Joe Doakes

Apparently the Pillsbury Foundation doesn’t want that  much “art“.

The Magical Number!:  Another attendee at the South Minneapolis location – like Doakes, a Twin Cities attorney – writes:

I’d say more than five [people got their guns purchased by the buyback] but less than 10. There was a three gun limit that wasn’t enforced so there were a couple people at the front that brought in more than three.

The cop in full uniform said he thought they brought a couple thousand [dollars] in gift cards to start off with.

Even if it was 3,000 that’s only enough for 15 handguns. Totally inadequate.

If we assume these two attorneys’ accounts are accurate (and I do), then the Star Tribune claim that the buy-backs “took 150 guns off the street” – indicates to me that the Strib’s writer, Liz Sawyer, took the number from the Pillsbury Foundation’s press release without asking any questions.   

And further evidence Ms. Sawyer has some learning to do about this issue (emphasis added):

Long after the buyback closed, a Brainerd man stood nearby with a cardboard sign reading “Will Pay More 4 Guns.” He said he was hoping to buy some antique weapons with historical value. He typically only asks sellers for an ID and their permit to carry.

And right there, Sawyer and the Strib play into the hysteria, and prove they don’t know what they’re talking about.

The permit means they have a clean criminal record.  You have to prove you have a clean record to get the permit in the first place.

But I’ll cut Sawyer some slack, if only for this quote:

Others criticized the event for failing to attract the kind of firearms typically used in shootings. “There are police here,” said Phillip Murphy, owner of a North Side flower shop. “The bad guys know that and aren’t coming.”

Well, duh.  Gun buybacks are to street crime what the TSA line is to hijackings; theater to make you think something is being done.  It’s like the people in the dreamsicle shirts with their sanctimonious rallies far from where the violence is; giving old, hacked-out guns to “artists” just makes people in the non-profit community feel better about ignoring all those dead black people.

Better

Study shows carry carry permittees are, per capita, far and away the safest demographic in the United States as far as firearm crime is concerned:

The study refers to Texas and Florida, which it says mirror most other states, to compare permit holders with police and the overall population. It used data from 1987 through 2015.

“We find that permit holders are convicted of misdemeanors and felonies at less than a sixth the rate for police officers,” the report says. “Among police, firearms violations occur at a rate of 16.5 per 100,000 officers. Among permit holders in Florida and Texas, the rate is only 2.4 per 100,000.10. That is just one-seventh of the rate for police officers.”

Of course, if you read this blog, you knew this years ago.

In Minnesota, which has a higher rate of carry permitting and lower crime rates that both Texas and Florida- with precisely one unjustifiable homicide committed by carry permittees in 13 years – the comparison is even more lopsided.

Circus Without Bread

Venezuela, awash in the inevitable end results of socialism – Shortages, hyper inflation, out of control corruption in crime – is doing put failed leftist governments from Baltimore to Minneapolis to Caracas always do; playing at security theater. In this case, destroying guns:

Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said the event marked the renewal of efforts to disarm Venezuelans, through a combination of seizures and a voluntary program to swap guns for electrical goods.

Venezuela has the world’s second highest murder rate and the street gangs that plague its poor neighborhoods have become increasingly heavily armed in recent years, at a time when a deep recession has reduced resources available to police.

“Reduced resources…”. “Recession”.
I don’t know Who Venezuela is trying to suck up to you, but it’s kind of funny…

Gangs often get weapons from the police, either by stealing them or buying them from corrupt officers, experts say.

Clearly, they’ve got that part solved…

Lie First, Lie Always: Authoritarians For “Liberty”

One of the things that always annoyed me about the Libertarian Party was its’ members predilection for purity-testing each other to a fine sheen, to the point where nobody could ever really get supported for anything.

The good news?  Apparently they’re not doing that anymore.

The bad news?  We know this because they’ve apparently endorsed a non-Libertarian for office.

Democrat “Libertarian” Veep nominee Bill Weld is as clueless about firearms as any NPR reporter.

The “clueless” is so strong, I won’t bother fisking it.  I’ll just let the statement sit in its full glory, and wait ’til the footnotes:

“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle; 1 the problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon, 2 and those are independent criminal offenses, 3” Weld said. “That is when they become, essentially a weapon of mass destruction. 4 The problem with handguns probably is even worse than the problem of the AR15.” 5

Weld also said he believed no one on a terrorist watch list should be allowed to purchase guns, even though, as the Huffington Post pointed out, it isn’t too hard for an innocent person to end up on the list.

Indeed, that’s the point – which Weld would know, if he were a Libertarian.

Footnotes:

1:  The “standard military rifle” hasn’t been “five shots” since about 1942.

2: If you “remove the pin”, it becomes a club.

3: No, it becomes zero offenses; adding a larger magazine isn’t a crime (except in places like DC, Chicago, California and Massachusetts (unless you’re Brian Gregory)), and “taking out the pin” is called “Field stripping and cleaning”.  Converting a gun to full automatic is a federal felony – but Weld is not curious enough to know that’s practically impossible with a garden-variety AR15.  Not that I’d know, because guns scare me.

4:  No, they do not become nuclear, biological, chemical or high-explosive weapons.  They become rifles that are easy to use, don’t jam, and don’t run out of bullets before the bad guy runs out of attack.

5:  Well, duh.  Handguns kill two orders of magnitude more people than “assault weapons”.  Or, put correctly, criminals use handguns to murder two orders of magnitude more people – disproportionally brown or black, most of them in Democrat cities.

Iowa “Minnesota” Flim-Flammers

We’ve written at some depth in the past about Minnesota Gun Rights – an astroturf fundraising group that raises a lot of money and generates a lot of strident social media about 2nd Amendment politics in Minnesota, but has never actually delivered any significant results.   A bipartisan selection of Minnesota’s most committed pro-human-rights legislators repudiated MGR a few years back.

In 2014, they dropped a few boxes of literature in the Roz Peterson race in Burnsville – and claimed credit for the victory.  This, and a couple of misplaced ads on AM1130, were their total effort that cycle.

In this primary cycle, they sent a lot of email to the Hackbarth/Bahr race, and also direct-mailed GOP activists in the Daudt/Duff race.

Well, guess what?

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MGR is claiming credit for Cal Bahr’s victory over Hackbarth in HD31B – as seen in the social-media meme that’s been circulating all day today

Near as I’ve been able to find from my sources on the subject, MGR’s entire “campaign” in the Bahr/Hackbarth contest was email.

But let’s break it down:  Tom Hackbarth had:

  • become not especially popular in his district anymore
  • lost the endorsement of a district with a very well-organized party unit.
  • not lost the endorsement of either of Minnesota’s legitimate human rights groups (GOCRA and MNGOPAC/MNGOC), due to his flawless human rights voting record – but then, Bahr looks very strong on the issue, too, and both groups noted it).

So sure.  Of course a couple of emails from MGR did the trick.

Of course, MGR expended even more effort in the Daudt/Duff race next door in 31A, apparently even sending paper mail – a sign of real commitment.

And the results?  Daudt stomped Duff.

Rob Doar of MNGOPAC/MNGOC said in social media “[MGR] swung much… much harder at Daudt, who won with over 72% of the vote…If they had any sort of political power, it surely would have manifested next door in 31A.  They are riding coattails, spinning stories…”

Friends don’t let friends repeat MGR claims.

I’m Sure This Is A Surprise…

…to the clueless; Chicago – the city with all the gun control that “ProtectMN” and Michael Bloomberg want (with the possible exception of “the disarmament of everyone else”) is seeing violence at a record clip:

July 2016 was the “deadliest July in 10 years” for heavily gun-controlled Chicago: Sixty-five individuals were shot and killed.
Moreover, according to the Chicago Tribune, such death figures do not set a new record — they simply tie a record set in 2006, when 65 individuals were killed in the month of July. This brings Chicago’s homicide total to “nearly 400” for the first seven months of 2016 alone. The number of homicides for the whole year of 2015 was 490.

“Assault weapons” are banned.  It’s exceptionally difficult for a law-abiding citizen to get a carry permit (although two of them have prevented mass shootings in the past couple of years alone); gun stores are essentially banned.   There is no way to measure the ratio of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens to criminals, but it has to be among the lowest in the country.

This is the world Nancy Nord Bence wants to bring you.

Lie First, Lie Always: I’m Shocked. Shocked, I Tell You

“Why are you gun fondlers so paranoid”, the snarky but uninformed “gun safety” parrots chant in smug unison.  “Why do you oppose universal background checks?”

“It’s ‘Human Rights Activist’, you closet commie” I gently correct them.  “And it’s because while the same criminals who aren’t going through background checks now aren’t going to start when they become ‘universal’, it will be used to compile a list of gun owners”.

“Pshaw”, they say, which surprises me, since I haven’t heard the word “pshaw” since I watched a Ma and Pa Kettle short when I was a little kid.  “That’s just paranoid”.

And I respond “As usual, at best, you’re uninformed, and at worst, you’re lying“.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the go-to federal oversight agency, conducted an audit of ATF and found it does not remove certain identifiable information, despite the law explicitly mandating it do so. GAO conducted reviews for four data systems, and concluded at least two of ATF’s systems violated official protocols.

One of the data-collecting systems called Multiple Sales (MS) requires that multiple firearms purchased at once must be reported to ATF by the federal firearms licensee (FFL). ATF policy requires that the bureau internally removes particular data from multiple gun sales reports after two years if the firearm has not been traced to criminal activity. GAO found that ATF does not adhere to its own policy. In fact, “until May 2016, MS contained over 10,000 names that were not consistently deleted within the required 2 years.”

Every bit of information you give government gives government an opportunity to use it against you.

What An Incredibly Novel Idea!

Chicago  has a horrendous murder rate.  Black and brown lives apparently don’t matter down there.

One of the reasons?  Chicago’s US attorney publicly announced that he’s not going to be chasing after “straw dealers” – people who use their clean criminal records to buy guns to resell to criminals.  And so a lot of gang-bangers’ girlfriends and moms and associates are supplying the guns that feed the bloodbath.

Now, Minnesota has both one of the lower murder rates in the country; outside North Minneapolis, our murder rate in 2014 was competitive with the rural west – and a high rate of legal gun ownership outside the hapless metro.

Is Minnesota doing something right?

Well, compared to Chicago, almost everyone is.  But yes:

Amid signs of a rise in illegal firearms trafficking, federal prosecutors in Minnesota have hit on a novel strategy to crack down on gun violence and get shooters off the streets. Instead of prosecuting suspects for murder, where convictions can be difficult to obtain, they charge multiple defendants with conspiracy to buy and possess guns illegally.

The strategy is rooted in the successful prosecution of 11 gang members in 2014, after what authorities called an “all-out shooting gang war” in the Twin Cities. Prosecutors built a conspiracy case that produced 10 guilty pleas and a jury trial conviction of the gang’s leader, Veltrez Black, who was sentenced this spring to 15 years in prison.

Now a Minnesota prosecutor has been asked to share the strategy with Chicago authorities, who are grappling with near nightly volleys of gunfire throughout their city.

Prosecuting criminals to lower crime.

Who’da thunk it?

Triumph Of The Twee

In yet another example of throwing good money after bad, the City of Minneapolis is teaming up with some of their poverty-pimp non-profit friends to host a gun buyback on August 27th, in North and South Minneapolis.

They’ll be offereing Visa gift cards – from $25 for an “antique” to $300 for an “assault weapon”.  The buyback will happen at (Station 14 in north Minneapolis and Station 17 in south Minneapolis).

I’ll let that sink in for a moment as you mark your calenders and locate your ATM cards.

But to add some extra wieselfreude:  there’s public art involved!

Unlike typical gun buybacks, following the August 27 buyback … the weapons will be decommissioned and given to Twin Cities’ artists to create statements about the impact of gun violence in our community.

Building upon the momentum of the national Guns in the Hands of Artists exhibit that PUC recently presented in the Twin Cities, the reclaimed guns will be given to local artists to create statements about the impact of gun violence in our community. This art will be a part of a new campaign called “Art Is My Weapon: a Minnesota Installation of Guns in the Hands of Artists.” A call for artists will be posted soon atwww.ArtIsMyWeapon.com.

And will this ‘art’ be sent to North Minneapolis, where the actual violence is?

Or will this stay in Kenwood and Crocus Hill, like all the other anti-gun protests?

Whose Time Has Come

Church (synogogue, temple, mosque, where-ever) is the last place most people think they’ll have to confront violence.

But today’s world shows us that sometimes even when you don’t think you’ll be confronting violence, violence confronts you, whether you’re Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Sikh, or whatever you are.

Lt. Col. Rex Grossman will be conducting one of his “Sheepdog Seminars” in Shakopee this Saturday.  There are still tickets available.

And there’s a discount for GOCRA members – admission is $49.50 instead of $69.  If you need to join GOCRA to get the discount, by all means do!

 

Unarmed

Let’s establish in advance that I’m not a mindless cop fanboy; I think it’s long past time for individual cops to carry liability insurance, rather than be covered by hamfisted qualified immunity.   That would weed out bad cops and reward good ones, presto.

But if I read another ill-informed activist or reporter nodding askance at a cop killing an “unarmed” person, without any further context, there’s gonna be trouble.

Every year, the homicide and manslaughter toll in MInnesota includes a number of “one punch kills”; episodes where an “unarmed” person’s initial physical contact causes a direct injury (a cerebral hemorrhage) or indirect (knocking a head on a curb or sidewalk) injury that ends up killing the victim.

And that doesn’t even count the “unarmed” subjects who suddenly become armed.

It’s all very easy, in an abstract sense, for people who’ve never seen how fast an “unarmed” assailant can become a lethal threat, to ignore what they don’t know – as Josh Gelernter at National Review points out:

Last year, a self-described “radical political activist” and Black Lives Matter protester named Jarrett Maupin agreed to go through a FATS-style police exercise — not using a FATS machine, but using paintball guns in a parking lot. Maupin was told to question a man behaving suspiciously. The man’s hands disappeared momentarily behind a car, reappeared holding a gun, and Maupin was “killed.” In the next exercise, two unarmed men were having a loud argument. Maupin approached them, one of the men starting walking aggressively toward Maupin — and Maupin shot him dead. A local Fox affiliate in Phoenix filmed Maupin’s experience (you can watch it on YouTube).

You can indeed!  And it’s fascinating.

Want to feel very humble, very fast?  Go through the 180º simulator at Gander Mountain, which puts you in a number of quick-choice situations.  Very, very quick choices.  Anyone who is confident of their ability to make decisions under stress under civilian rules of engagement is going to get their world rocked – I guarantee it. =====8

Afterward, one of the local reporters tried the same exercise, and got exactly the same results. The reporter asked Maupin what conclusions he’d drawn from the experience. “I didn’t understand how important compliance was,” said Maupin. “But after going through this, yeah, my attitude has changed. This is all unfolding in 10 to 15 seconds.

And often less.

Which is why after the Jamar Clark, when people (and reporters) were nothing “it all took place in less than a minute”, I thought “A minute?   If everyone involved was lucky!”

Gelernter:

Maybe the answer to racial tensions and anti-police protests is for police to offer every member of Black Lives Matter a chance to take the test that Maupin took. Or maybe the police should start doing FATS-machine demos in high-crime neighborhoods, to help people understand the decisions cops are faced with. Maybe they should open FATS arcades. I bet they’d be popular.

I think putting a 180º simulator into a truck and taking it out  – to bars in Coates, schools in Richfield, and to the streets of Dayton’s Bluff – would be an eye-opener to a lot of people.  We could start with Nekima Levy-Pounds, Keri Miller, and the Strib editorial board, and work our way outward.

Go Figure

We were warned.

Oh, you betcha we  were!

The media’s chicken littles parroted the narrative they so, so desperately wish, hope, pray is true; that the average, law-abiding American citizen, left to his own devices and all of his human rights, is a fundamentally depraved actor, motivated by rage and hate, looking for an excuse to stick it to someone.

At worst, it’s the ultimate manifestation of Berg’s Seventh Law; the left is transferring their own manifest rage onto their enemies.

At best?  They’re wishing they had a lot more company among the ranks of America’s depraved.

And it’s just not happening.  The media warned us that open civilian carry, legal in Ohio, would end up in a bloodbath.

Of course it didn’t happen.

The New York Times ominously reported: “However, given the recent tumult around the country, some leaders are anxious that the environment could turn dangerous. Members of one group made up of current and former members of the military called the Oath Keepers, who have shown up at other tense events heavily armed, say they again plan to carry weapons into Cleveland.”
NPR forewarned: “With tens of thousands of protesters expected in Cleveland, those gun laws could mean confrontations between pistol-packing delegates and protesters.”

And Vanity Fair cautioned about a security nightmare: “In the wake of a deadly sniper attack during a protest last week in Dallas, where open-carry laws reportedly made it difficult for police to tell the difference between potential suspects and marchers carrying legal firearms, there are rising concerns that similar open-carry laws in Ohio risk turning the Republican National Convention into a security nightmare.”

The total number of shootings?

Zero.

Nothing.

Bupkes.

As usual.