Dear Open Carry Activists

To:  Open Carry Activists
From: Mitch Berg, Longtime Second Amendment Trench-Fighter
Re:  A Modest Request

All,

The Minnesota carry permit does, indeed, allow one to carry one’s firearm openly.  But most people who have them don’t do it – partly because there’s no sense in letting potential criminals know who they need to take down first, and partly because we are, indeed, surrounded by hysterical ninnies. 

So in a sense, you are to the gun movement what guys with waxed chests and buttless chaps cavorting about a Gay Pride parade are to the gay movement; the fringe exception that confirms the stereotypes in the minds of the undecided. 

But that’s the least of the things I’m writing to complain about. 

Over the past month or so, your “protests” have given a bonanza of free chanting points to Michael Bloomberg, and backed a number of corporations up against a wall; while they’d always been “live and let live”, “don’t ask, don’t tell” about guns, and followed state laws, now they’re being pressured into taking individual (and sometimes illegal) action against gun owners. 

In other words, you’re forcing people and businesses to take sides on the issue.  And when people go from “no information or interest in an issue” to “being forced to take sides NOW”, what side do you think they’ll come out on?  Think about who runs the media before you answer that. 

Now, I’m not talking about groups like the one in the Twin Cities that hosts open-carry events at businesses that agree to host them.  Those are good things. 

I’m talking about using businesses’ private property to host your protests against their will.  You’re no better than Occupyers when you do that. 

May I suggest you stop using unwilling private businesses for your protests.  Maybe switch to City Hall,  or the State Capitol?

They’re the ones you need to reach, anyway.

That is all.

Yes, Mr. Vice President. Yes, We Will.

Slow Joe Biden, in an interview with gun-owning gun-control advocate John Walsh:

“‘John, every one of them [is scared of the left's boogeyman, the NRA],’” the vice president replied, according to Walsh. “‘Because the NRA will run a tea-bagger against you. . . . They’ll put 5 million bucks against you.’”

As they should. 

It’s one of the reasons I’m a member.

Targeted

After a month of so of coercion by Michael Bloomberg and his chorus of paid puppets, in a campaign that cost the former New York mayor and chief scold millions, Target turned around and did…

…next to nothing.

Oh, they asked gun owners not to carry in their stores – meaning “carry openly”. 

Now, let’s be honest;  if I, Mitch Berg, Second Amendment activist, owned a general-market retail operation, I would also ask people, nicely, not to carry openly in my store.  Money from the tiny minority of anti-gunners, and the larger minority of people who are scared, put-off or confused about guns, is just as good as anyone else’s, and people who are opposed to or irrationally afraid of gun are a solid 20+% of the market in most major metro areas – a small part of the market, but bigger than the open carry activist minority.  Why send them all running away from my store?

Target is asking, not telling, gun owners to please not agitate the ninnies among their customers, thank you very much.

For all you open carry supporters in the audience:  I get it.  A right not exercised is a right that can be taken by default.  But the same goes for the rights of private property owners; they’ve got a right to give the customers the experience they, not you, design for them.  And they’ve decided – not incorrectly – that open carry will scare away more ninnies than it will bring in shooters. 

So while the open-carry movement may call this a setback (or a call to action), for the mainstream of the second amendment movement, it’s a small win, or at the very least “not a loss”.

Snipers In The Mist

The Chicago Police discovered a “sniper nest” atop a public parking garage near a Chicago college:

Officials say they found a high-powered semi-automatic rifle about a block from the campus of Kennedy King college, near 64th and Lowe last Thursday. Officers say the nest was found on top of a garage across from a soccer field on campus.

Snipers.  Deadly, cold-eyed marksmen…

A US Marine sniper. With his rifle. With a long, match-grade barrel, to use the most of the high-powered round’s power to give the bullet the highest velocity and straightest flight path possible.

…with weapons that can reach out hundreds of yards – sometime over a mile – to put a bullet precisely into a human head.

At the scene, officers recovered a fully loaded Mac-10.

(SCREAAAAAAAATCH)

A MAC-10?

A MAC-10

The MAC10 is a civilianized version of the MAC-10 submachine gun – an ultra-short-barreled weapon designed to “Spray and Pray”; fire 20 shots a second at point-blank range.  But being civilianized, it doesn’t ”spray” – it’s semi-automatic.   It has a four-inch barrel – the same as a modestly-respectable handgun.  But it’s not even as accurate as a modest-quality handgun (and even a high-quality target handgun is useless beyond about 30-50 yards).  The MAC’s  “sights” are a v-notch cut in a piece of steel.  It’s got a trigger pull like an old Mattel cap gun.   And it fires pistol ammunition, meaning by definition it is not “high-powered”.

It is a glorified, heavy, badly-balanced, expensive handgun, with an effective, aimed range of about 30 feet.  Not “a block and a soccer field and change”.

Kennedy King officials say they have notified students. Although, it does not appear that anyone on campus was ever in any danger.

Indeed.

I know that the NRA and other Second Amendment groups offer classes to journalists about how not to sound stupid when talking about firearms.  Someone might want to send the TV station behind this story a gift certificate.

Target Tuesday

Target is still under siege from “Michael Bloomberg in Drag” (a more accurate way to refer to “Moms Want Action”, which was always a checkbook advocacy group and is now basically Bloomberg’s pep squad) to ban law-abiding citizens from carrying legally in their stores.

It’s time to let Target know who the real customers are:20140701-123420-45260664.jpg

Remember – keep it civil. Good manners wins the day. Target’s people have had enough of the shrieking harpies from “Bloomberg In Drag”.

Progress!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Population of Chicago in 1930: 3.3 million. Crime_in_Chicago”>Number of homicides: 399. Gun control: none.

Population of Chicago in 2010: 2.7 million. Number of homicides: 436. Gun control: plenty.

Chicago in Al Capone’s day was known for gang violence but modern Chicago gangs kill more victims from a smaller pool.

Chicago gangs doing it better.

Joe Doakes

Who says there’s no such thing as progress?

Doakes Sunday: Transsubstantiation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The headline is the story.  Priest killed with colleague’s gun.  Guns go off by themselves, you see, which is why owning a gun is bad.  It will get you killed when it goes off by itself. 

No mention in the headline of the homeless, mentally ill ex-convict who robbed and beat the priests before taking the gun and killing one of them.  Yes, the facts are in the story, but the eye-grabbing headline, the part half the population reads but no further, that’s where the media’s ingrained bias shows. 

Joe Doakes

The homeless guy who animated a firearm must be a miracle worker…

Doakes Sunday: Previews

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If you want to see where American Liberals will be in a few years, look at British Liberals.

Guns already are banned but violence continues so now mandatory six months jail for second conviction for carrying a knife. All the usual arguments about whether it’s harsh enough, prison overcrowding, effect on gang violence, etc.

No concept that giving ordinary citizens the power to fight back in self-defense might be a long-term better strategy for social order.

Joe Doakes

Not only that, but self-defense itself is becoming illegal.

But let’s be fair; the US was headed the same direction 30-40 years ago.  The good guys – that’d be you and me – fought back and pushed the needle back toward freedom.

We need to do it again, and in many, many more areas.

Deflation

Everytown USA – one of Michael Bloomberg’s astroturf gun-grabber groups – circulated a map claiming that there had been 74 school shootings substantially similar to Newtown since the Sandy Hook shooting.

But what have we told you about anti-gun groups?

Distrust but verify.  Then, almost inevitably, resume distrusting (emphasis added):

The news outlet circulated the graphical map, which came from the group Everytown for Gun Safety, after a shooting that occurred Tuesday at a high school in Oregon which left two dead, including the 15 year-old gunman.

Everytown for Gun Safety, which is backed by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, headlined their graphic “School Shootings in America Since Sandy Hook,” suggesting that the shootings it listed had a link of some kind to Sandy Hook — in which Adam Lanza killed 26 people at an elementary school.

CNN and various other media outlets used the graphic in news segments.

Of course they did.

But…

“So on Wednesday, CNN took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included,” reads CNN’s report.

It acknowledged that many of the shootings listed by Everytown did not fit the profile of a Sandy Hook-type shooting, in which the attacks are seemingly random.

Instead, CNN said, “some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.” (RELATED: School Shooting Claims Debunked)

“CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon – a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school,” said CNN.

The number and severity of school shootings has actually dropped, along with the overall murder rate, over the past 20 years.  And kids are vastly less likely to be shot in school than in, say, a Chicago neighborhood.

Margin

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It’s not strictly speaking a gun-rights case.  But the discussion of the 21-foot rule might be useful to a CCW permittee who finds herself explaining why she shot a person holding a knife, standing a little distance away from her.

The defendant in this case argued with apartment security, went to her car, retrieved a knife, then returned to threaten security with the knife.  The prosecution called the investigating detective, who testified:

“Over defense objection, Detective Ratajczyk testified regarding the continuum of force; the lowest level of force being the presence of a person in uniform, and the level of force then moves from verbal, to physical, to deadly force.  According to Detective Ratajczyk, force in response to a threat is “met with the same force plus one.”  Detective Ratajczyk also testified that he believed a knife is a dangerous weapon, particularly if the knife is within 21 feet of an officer because a distance of 21 feet is the minimum distance an officer with a holstered weapon needs to react to a threat from a knife . . . Even if we were to conclude that the challenged testimony was inadmissible, appellant cannot establish prejudice because there is no reasonable possibility that the verdict would have been different had the challenged testimony not been admitted.  See Post, 512 N.W.2d at 102.  The record reflects that the evidence supporting appellant’s guilt was overwhelming.”

The Court didn’t actually rule on whether the 21-foot rule was valid.  But the court didn’t toss it out, either.  Keep this case in your pocket for the next time somebody claims a knife isn’t a reason to use deadly force.

Joe Doakes

I would love to see the weasel assistant DA who tries to state with a straight face that a knife isn’t a deadly weapon.

Only on Planet Law.

This Is A Spree Killer’s Brain On Lead

Whenever a law-abiding citizen with a legal firearm engages against a criminal bent on a spree killing, the left and media engages in what is at the least misunderstanding and at worst deliberate obfuscation. 

In cases where a citizen kills or apprehends someone bent on a spree-killing – as in the Appalachian Law School and Pearl Mississippi school shootings – in many cases the number of dead is low enough that it doesn’t even qualify as a “spree-kiling”; the average number of dead at mass shootings when a civilian intervenes is two. 

But at other shootings – the New Life Christian Center shooting in Colorado Springs, the Clackamas Mall shooting in Oregon, and this week’s shooting in Las Vegas – it’s a little more complex, and the left and media (ptr) are a little more ignorant, or misleading. 

And so  – purely for educational purposes – I’m going to compare two spree-shootings.  They are for our purposes identical – with one exception. 

Read on:

Step Shooting 1 – Victims Wait For The Police Shooting 2 – A Citizen intervenes
1  Our future perp – a deeply disturbed person – picks a target for their rage.  The target is one that the perp believes will make them a household name, an object of eternal fascination.  The intended victims are people – or associated with people – who the perp believes have wronged him in some way.   Our future perp – a deeply disturbed person – picks a target for their rage. The target is one that the perp believes will make them a household name, an object of eternal fascination. The intended victims are people – or associated with people – who the perp believes have wronged him in some way.
2  Perp spends months, maybe years, planning shooting down to the most infinitesimal detail. It is both fantasy and obsession, occupying every waking and most sleeping hours of the perp’s day. Perp spends months, maybe years, planning shooting down to the most infinitesimal detail. It is both fantasy and obsession, occupying every waking and most sleeping hours of the perp’s day.
3  Perp painstakingly hoards weapons and equipment: maybe an AR/AK, a large-capacity handgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, black overalls and ski mask, goggles, gasoline bombs, the works. Absolutely nothing is left to chance.   Perp painstakingly hoards weapons and equipment: maybe an AR/AK, a large-capacity handgun, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, black overalls and ski mask, goggles, gasoline bombs, the works. Absolutely nothing is left to chance.
4  On the day of the attack, the perp painstakingly prepares for the attack, leaving behind video and written manifestos that will later cause experts to wonder what the hell is the matter with humanity.    On the day of the attack, the perp painstakingly prepares for the attack, leaving behind video and written manifestos that will later cause experts to wonder what the hell is the matter with humanity.
5  The perp arrives at the target, yells something vainglorious, and begins shooting. He shoots and kill/wound a few victims before anyone can react.  The perp arrives at the target, yells something vainglorious, and begins shooting. He shoots and kill/wound a few victims before anyone can react.
6  Lost in a reverie – a fantasy, the achievement of that for which they have planned for so long, the shooter saunters through the pandemonium, shooting as people flee, killing and wounding more. The killer is a happy as he has ever been  Lost in a reverie – a fantasy, the achievement of that for which they have planned for so long, the shooter saunters through the pandemonium, shooting as people flee, killing and wounding more.  The killer is a happy as he has ever been
7  Grinning from ear, the shooter blazes away, calmly changing magazines and firing almost at random at fleeting people, grinding his teeth with hatred and contempt as they fall. The police receive several 911 calls about a shooting.  The police start rolling.  The killer notices a sharp “crack” sound by his head.  He turns toward the sound, and sees someone – a middle-aged, middle-class schlub, one of the people he holds in contempt, down the business end of a handgun.  The handgun barks again, and through his adrenaline rush the shooter feels a sharp sting from his left arm.  High on adrenaline, he barely notices the fact that he’s been hit – but he is keenly aware that his plan is off the rails.
8  The killer goes from room to room, calmly slaughtering people at his leisure.  Just has he’s planned.     The killer palpably deflates – not so much from the bullet wound as from the unplanned deviation from the fantasy.  They withdraw into a room just off the main hallway as the citizen – who, pumped on adrenaline, scored no more hits – stands, the slide on his small pocket pistol locked back on an empty magazine, dumbfounded, before remembering his training, shaking it off, reloading and retreating.
9  The killer indulges his caprice, leaving a few people alive in some rooms, calmly finishing off all the wounded in others.  The killer, his reverie thoroughly smashed, falls into a crippling despair, turns his handgun on himself. 
10  More rooms.  More shooting.  More dead.   The killer is dead.  
11  Terrified cell phone calls end with loud bangs, as the killer calmly walks from room to room, killing at his whim.  Survivors – the wounded whom he didn’t finish off, and a few who managed to hide – noted that his expression was calm, serene, almost…happy.   The killer is still dead. 

The civilian, hearing nothing, calls 911 – the lines are jammed, so it takes several tries.  Then, per his training, he calls his lawyer. 

12  The police finally arrive; they engage the shooter as soon as they make contact – following their training  The police arrive – to find few dead and wounded people in a building that echoes with the crying of survivors who are, it is noted, alive and unscratched. 
13  The reverie broken, the shooter returns fire, then withdraws into a room where, after killing a few final victims, he shoots himself.   The police start sorting out the situation, and note that the situation, tragic as it was, was likely saved by the intervention of a law-abiding schmuck with a gun.
14  As a parade of ambulances and satellite trucks howl up to the crime scene, the senior cop shakes his head, and starts securing a very big, gory crime scene.  As his officers cordon off the building, the senior officer meets the citizen.  Although the citizen – per his training – declines to speak until he can talk to a lawyer, the lieutenant tells his sergeant that the guy is the hero of the day. 
15  At the news conference that evening, the chief of police calls the situation a tragedy that they will be investigating for some time.   At the news conference following the incident, the chief calls the civilian a hero who doubtless saved many lives. 
16  The media quietly ponders, on a bunch of “Journo-lists”, how to help this story push the nation toward “meaningful action about gun safety”.  The media buries the story of the mass-shooting that wasn’t. 

For those who aren’t paying attention? The right column is – in broad outline, not actual particulars – what happened in the WalMart in Las Vegas.

Take your pick.

(Bonus:  when the story of the shooting in the right column is discussed in public, the pundits on the left will knowingly smirk and say “the shooter killed himself”, painstakingly ignoring the “why”)

Open Letter To Target Corp

June 9, 2014

To: Target Corporation
From: Mitch Berg, Law-abiding Customer
Re:  Billionaire Trouble

Dear Target,

I’ve been a customer of yours for decades, like most Minnesotans.  I estimate I likely spend well north of $2,000 a year at your stores, counting groceries and clothing.

And like about 180,000 Minnesotans, I have a permit to carry a firearm.

Minnesotans with carry permits are nearly three orders of magnitude less likely to commit a firearm crime than the general public; we are literally better safety risks, per capita, than your employees are.

Now, a group called “Moms Demand Action”, which is an astroturf pressure group owned and operated by billionaire ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg, is putting a lot of media pressure on Target to bar all firearm carry at your stores, nationwide, after the intemperate actions of a few “open carry” activists in Texas.

While your stores are indeed your property, please be advised that if you bar all firearms – including tactfully-concealed weapons that many of us carry for our and our fellow citizens’ protection, I will…:

  • Take my money elsewhere, and keep it there
  • Do my best, via this blog and my talk show, to make sure everyone I can  possibly influence does the same.

There are twenty times as many carry permittees in Minnesota alone as there are members of all “gun safety” groups.  And while we respect your property rights, given a choice, we will protect our rights first.

It is that important to us.

Yours,

Mitch Berg

———-

I urge you to send a polite email, or phone call, to Target.

In your own words, tell Target that

  • Michael Bloomberg’s money – not a bunch of plucky moms – is behind this astroturf effort.
  • The “Moms” group — actually Michael Bloomberg’s billions — is trying to rope Target into their extreme agenda
  • Permit holders are overwhelmingly more law abiding than the general population
  • I am a law-abiding gun owner/carry permit holder
  • I am a frequent Target shopper
  • I spend my money where my rights are respected

Contact Target as follows:

  • Email:  Guest.Relations@Target.com
  • Phone:  1-800-440-0680

Remember – calm and polite wins the day.  We win battles by being smarter than the Orcs.  This can be no exception.  We are held to a higher standard than they are – and we almost always hit that standard.

We can change Target’s mind, the same way we humiliated Michael Bloomberg in the past two legislatures; by being better, smarter, and much more dedicated than they are.

This post will remain stuck to the top of this blog until late Tuesday morning.

Low Quality Chum

This past twenty years have been good ones, all in all, for the Second Amendment Human Rights Movement.

Even as the ratio of civilian firearms to citizens reaches 1:1 (double the per-capita ownership rate in 1968), the violent crime and firearm murder rates have dropped by half.  The Supreme Court rejected decades of addled legal opinion with prejudice in the Heller and McDonald cases.  And states with “Shall Issue” laws zoomed from eight 30 years ago to over 40 today (and “constitutional carry” states moving from 1 to 3 in the same time).

The orcs are desperate for a victory – even a symbolic one.

And some shooters are giving it to them.

———-

In the 1970s, the anti-gun movement set about an effort to stigmatize gun ownership.  Civilian firearms ownership had long been a natural part of being a free citizen in this country.  Great example – Minnesota didn’t even require a permit to carry a concealed handgun until 1974.

But in the wake of 1968 – with its high-profile assassinations (none of which would have been prevented by any level of gun control) and, more signally, cities full of black people rioting, the left embarked on an effort not only to ban guns legally, but stigmatize them socially.  TV programming and movies started uniformly portraying gun ownership as unnecessary and dangerous at best, a sign of impairment or derangement at worst.  And it sank in; by the mid-eighties, polls showed a majority of people favoring gun control, and a strong-plurality-to-majority having a low opinion of civilian firearms ownership.

And the news and entertainment media still keep that tack alive and well – although the rise of alternative media have effectively outflanked Big Left and Big Media; public attitudes about guns and gun owners have largely flipped.

But it took some convincing.  One of the most important things to convince people of?  That gun owners were real people, just like everyone else.

———-

When I first started hanging out with the Human Rights crowd twenty years ago – GOCRA and Concealed Carry Reform Now (CCRN), one of the first rules given to activists was “no camo”.  Don’t wear camouflage to CCRN/GOCRA events, gun shows and protests and hearings at the Capitol.  Not just hunting camouflage, mind you – the paramilitary stuff was also a no-go.  The movement needed to combat the impression thatbeinga shooter made someone inherently an outsider, self-consciously casting themselves out from society.  We were fathers and mothers, students and lawyers, white and blue collar, Democrats and Republicans -peoplejust like everyone else.

Behind this was a simple bit of human psychology; the first step to taking someone’s rights away from them is to dehumanize them.  To appear to be human makes that hard, if not quite impossible; at the very least, the other side has to expend much more effort, an unseemly amount, to keep dehumanizing you.

If they can’t turn you into a cliche that they can make people dismiss, then your playing field is more even.

And in the world of politics – which is where our laws get written – that’s important.

———

But a group of shooters is doing their best to give the Orcs a new set of cliches on which to focus their rage.

The Open Carry activists at Starbucks, Chipotle, and most recently at a Target in Fort Worth have given the Orcs not so much a “cheap win” as a cheap, unearned boogeyman – the bearded, t-shirt-clad white guy sauntering around coffee shops, fast-food joints and stores, doing their business while carrying not just handguns but “assault weapons”.

There is method to the madness, for open-carry activists; if you don’t use a right, you can lose it.

With all due respect, it’s a lousy method.  It gains the good guys nothing – least of all in Texas, where the right to carry is as solid as any place in the United States – and hands the orcs something they haven’t had in years; cheap public relations victories.

The open carriers’ response is “why should we let fear of their public relations victory interfere with our exercise of our legal rights?”

Because politics is as much emotional and rhetorical as factual, that’s why.  Law-abiding shooters have won the war of facts over the past thirty years – but we also won the war of emotions and rhetoric.  We – the good guys, the law-abiding Real Americans who own guns – are 2-3 orders of magnitude less likely to commit any crime than non-gun owners.

But then, we were before 1968, too.  It wasn’t the factual war that led to the nadir of the late seventies and early eighties; it was the war for rhetoric and emotion; the false, propagandized fear of guns that the media implanted in the middle-American psyche.

The good guys un-planted that irrational fear, at least in most Real Americans between the Hudson and the Sierra Madre.  We did  it even though we had the media and the political class fighting against us.

And it could all reverse – even if the War of Facts continues in our favor, as it will.

Giving unearned victories to the Orcs is no way to eliminate them from the political battlefield.

So I’ll just say this; if I did have a gun and a carry permit, I’d carry concealed.  And I urge everyone else to do it too.

Deal With The Devil

One the one hand, the MinnPost is running sponsored news again.

And yet again, the subject is guns, and the sponsor is the Joyce Foundation, which is (aside from Michael Bloomberg) the biggest funder of anti-gun groups in the United States.  Before Bloomberg bought the local rights for “Protect MN” and “Moms Want Action”, they were the major funder of gun control groups in Minnesota.

And part of that funding went toward buying favorable media, mostly in the form of risibly bald-faced propaganda.

Of course, Joyce has taken a whack at funding respectable journalism as well.

Investigative reporter Mike Cronin has embarked on a Joyce-sponsored multi-part series on the gun culture.  And like not a few previous such efforts, it starts out as a “gorillas in the mist”-style exploration into what is clearly for Cronin a foreign culture, as he takes his Carry Permit training class from Andrew Rothman (a long-time friend of this blog, president of the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance, and the guy who, if I had a carry permit, would have  taught me my carry permit class two hypothetical years ago).  Which is as good an intro as there is to the “gun culture” as a newbie can have.

Cronin is going through the class, intends to get his permit, and to purchase a gun as part of his investigation into the “gun culture>

And by all accounts, it’s a fair account, so far, although you be the judge.

No doubt Cronin will be looking at the “other side” of the debate; I’ll be watching.

It’ll be interesting to see what Joyce is paying for, this season.

“Anti-Gun”

One question I get from GOP activists, in the run-up and especially since the convention, is “Isn’t Mike McFadden anti-gun?”

Now, if the GOP’s endorsed Senate candidate has taken criticism for anything, it’s being a little enigmatic on some of his answers to policy questions.  That is, obviously, going to have to change soon.  And I suspect it will.

But if there’s one issue where McFadden’s been scrutinized pretty carefully, it’s guns.  And the fact is this:  McFadden supported the “gun show background check”.  And let’s be honest; a lot of people did, including a lot of pro-gun people who hadn’t thought through all the ramifications (it’d be a de facto gun registry).  And I’m going to guess it was an idea that tested out well in focus groups with mixed bags of voters who also didn’t know the issue all that well.

But then McFadden ran up against Minnesota’s shooters – the single best-organized mass of activists in Minnesota.  And the shooters howled.  And McFadden has spent the past three months walking back the gun-show registration idea.

Beyond that, McFadden had nothing objectionable to say (and yes, “what he says” is what we have to go by, since he has no voting record).

So I have two responses:

Flip?:  Has McFadden flipped on gun-show background checks?  Hopefully.  He’s certainly been vocal about not being anti-Second-Amendment at his speeches – it was pretty much the first item on the agenda of his speeches I heard in March and April.  I have no problem with people flipping, by the way, provided they flip in the right direction.  He rates some further scrutiny – gotta keep politicians honest – but I think we’ve got the basis for some optimism.

Perspective:  Let’s say for a moment that McFadden is generally pro-gun, with a few minor warts.  Now, I know “incrementalism” is a dirty word for some of you out there, but a Senator who generally supports the Second Amendment, even with a few flash-points of disagreement, will be an improvement at the national level over Al Franken, who only wants “Organizing for America” to be armed.

Discuss.

 

Half Off

“An armed society is a polite society” — P. J. O’Rourke.

Firearm deaths are off by just shy of half in the past twenty years, even as the number of guns in civilian hands reaches record raw numbers and post-war percentages throughout America.

And that isn’t even the most spectacular good news.  Non-fatal firearm crime is off by right around 75% since 1993:

The bad news?  :

The media – doing the left’s bidding – has convinced people of the exact opposite. A staggering percent of the population – especially women – believe crime has risen lately. 

Caveats:  the crime rate likely dropped as much for demographic reasons as much as anything. 

Counter-caveats: 

  1. There are twice as many gunsper capitain the United States as in 1968.  That’s per capita; in 1968, there was a gun for every two Americans; today, it’s rougly 1:1.  If Michael Bloomberg and Moms Want Action were to be believed (and they are not), the crime rate should have boomed.
  2. The study notes that there are many other factors involved, including regional demographics.  Which is behind the left’s claim that “the places with the most guns have the most violence!”.  The rural south has a particularly high murder rate (as we discussed in debunking this chanting point for the first time, a few years back), for reasons that predate guns, and for that matter the United States itself. 

Of course, news like this – and the recent report from the CDC that affirmed that civilian guns do deter crime – is precisely why the left is ramping up their disinformation campaign. 

Because while a lie can travel around the world while the truth is putting its boots on in the morning, once that truth is up and at ‘em, it does tend to pimp-slap the lies. 

So keep slapping.

Oz

Whenever the subject of gun control comes up, the left often reverts to pleading “Look at (fill in the foreign country)”. 

It’s invariably an apples vs. axles comparison, of course. 

But the one that  might – to the underinformed – seem close is the example of Australia, which banned most civilian gun ownership in the nineties.

The left tells us the experiment conclusively proves that gun control reduces violence.

Of course, it’s really just not true.

So Let Me Get This Straight…

A deeply mentally ill child of immense privilege

…from a family that is very, very likely left of center (given where the father lives and the industry he works in), not that that necessarily should matter…

…who stabbed three victims, shot three (of whom four were men and two were women) and critically injured two more with his car…

…in a gun-free zone…

…in a state that has some of the “toughest” gun controls in the country, and spent the last year ratcheting up restrictions on law-abiding gun buyers…

…is the fault of the NRA and the gun-rights movement?

Frivolous

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Since the right to an abortion and the right to bear arms are both fundamental Constitutional rights, this ruling should pave the way to institute some long overdue sensible restrictions on abortions: background checks with photographs and fingerprints, registration with the government, limit to one abortion per year, classroom training before the procedure . . . these are all required to possess a firearm so they should be required to obtain an abortion.

 

Next, I’d like to see the Star Tribune’s registration and the background checks on their reporters.

 

The worst part is the “reasoning” the judge uses.  Citing a few mass shootings, but carefully avoiding the other 99% of the murders he uses as justification, those being the killings committed with guns that were not registered and will never be registered, carried and used by felons who can never legally own or carry. Nothing in these regulations will address the real problem; therefore, the regulations are not substantially related to a legitimate government purpose and should have been stricken down.

 

Joe Doakes

The epidemic of judges ignoring the Constitution is one we as a society are going to need to deal with if the Constitution is ever to really matter.

On The One Hand…

…if I did have a gun and a carry permit, I’d never carry openly.  Part of it is that is that it’s the sort of thing you want to keep under wraps if you ever need it.

Part of it is that the anti-gun movement has trained the weak-minded to be such incredible ninnies.

And part of it is that it is, to some people, a scary imposition.  And while I disagree with them, there’s no point in picking fights I don’t need to.

Indeed, there is a definite point to meeting people halfway in terms of perceptions.  When the group that eventually became GOCRA got organized almost twenty years ago, one of its ironclad rules was “No Camo”; nobody was to wear camouflage to any of the group’s events.  The point?  Help people see that shooters were like them, not like their stereotypes. 

So while I understand and respect the opinions of many of my open-carry activist friends – “a right un-used is a right easily abridged” - I’ll demur on carrying openly, since while there are as many good reasons to carry openly as there are to wear camouflage, there are exactly the same reasons not to. 

Don’t get me wrong; I disagree with Chipotle’s decision to ask shooters not to bring guns into its stores.  They’ve got a lot of customers to keep happy, and the bobbleheads who decided to use a Chipotle to stage their pro-open-carry protests ruffled some feathers. 

The Denver-based company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms.

But in a statement Monday, the company said that “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.”

 Of course, it’s not really about complaints from real people.  There are professional ninnies involved:

The announcement came after a petition by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which has called on other companies to ban firearms in their stores as well.

 Of course, there are two dumb calls here; the “protesters” picked a fight they really didn’t need to – and Chipotle caved in to an astroturf group’s toothless yapping. 

That said?  I’m not boycotting Chipotle, for the same reason as David Harsanyi:

As a 2nd Amendment fan, I believe Chipotle is making a mistake. Yet, it isn’t exactly undermining our Constitutional rights by asking consumers to keep their guns out of their businesses. (Please read Charles Cooke’s dismantling of the perpetually confused Sally Kohn’s attempt to conflate two very distinct ideas.) Though Chipotle acted for the wrong reasons, it has every right to create an experience for its consumers that it finds safe and inviting.

Fact is, if the CEO of Qdoba’s was a libertarian plutocrat who supported all my favorite organizations, I’d still choose Chipotle because when it comes to food I owe more to a good product than a philosophically sound owner. Chipotle was founded on an exemplary idea and its execution and consistency have won my business — even when I disagree with its choices.

And here’s the key distinction, with emphasis added:

Now, if this company was forking over millions to some finger-wagging Michael Bloomberg-funded gaggle of authoritarians I’d would probably have to reconsider. But, as far as I know, that’s not the case.

 That’s the line, right there.

I didn’t patronize Minnesota businesses that posted “No Firearms” signs in the wake of the Shall Issue law passing in 2003.  Neither did so many others that the vast majority of those signs have disappeared. 

And I personally didn’t patronize Hewlett-Packard, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, KFC or Taco Bell when they donated big bucks to the Brady Campaign.  Either did hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of others – which is why those donations have evaporated.  Working to show up Moms Want Action’s! message as the vapid lies they are, and destroy their credibility with thinking people?  Goes without saying. 

But asking people to keep their guns out of plain sight in deference to the customers who may be hoplophobic ninnies, but whose money hits Chipotle’s bottom line with the same satisfying “ching” yours does? 

I’m not thrilled, but I get it.