Bearing Arms

  • DOJ Set To Declare Bump Stocks As ‘Machine Guns’
    The Department of Justice is reportedly set to declare bump stocks as machine guns, thus making the thousands of Americans who purchased them legally criminals. On Thursday, The Truth About Guns reported on the coming finding. “The Department of Justice is issuing a rulemaking that would interpret the statutory definition of machine gun in the National Firearms Act of 1934 and Gun Control Act of 1968 to clarify whether certain devices, commonly known as bump-fire stocks, fall within that definition.” That’s the intro (or “abstract”) to the DoJ’s newly issued public rule following their re-examination of the classification of bump fire stocks. This, of course, was done after last year’s Las Vegas Mandalay Bay shooting in which 58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. That was the only crime in which a bump fire stock had ever been used. The ATF had issued an approval letter to SlideFire for their bump fire stock back in 2010 that read, in part: “The stock has no automatically functioning mechanical parts or springs and performs no automatic mechanical function when installed. … Accordingly, we find that the ‘bump-stock’ is a firearm part and is not regulated as a firearm under Gun Control Act or the National Firearms Act.” That was, of course, the correct ruling under the law as written. In February, however, President Trump directed Justice to take another look at them, a move that was supported at the time by the NRA. He apparently wanted the ATF to look deeply into the emanations and penumbras of the law to see if, just maybe, there was a way to look at bump fire stocks in a whole new way. Well, take another look they have, and — to the surprise of no one — now that we’re past the midterms, the DoJ has now classified bump fire stocks as NFA-regulated items, the legal equivalent of a machine gun. Now, let me make a couple of things clear. This quoted portion is from when TTAG thought this was already a done deal. It’s not. I’m not pointing this out to throw any shade on those folks over there. They do some good work, and it was a misunderstanding that they moved swiftly to correct. It happens and my hats off to them for owning it and making the correction as quickly as they did. Instead, I’m going to use this to point out the problem with allowing bureaucrats to made determinations on what is legal and what isn’t. That initial report could just as easily have been accurate. With a stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen, thousands of people could be guilty of a felony. In theory. The truth of the matter is that bump stocks aren’t a freaking problem. Since 2010, they’ve been used in exactly one crime. Yes, it was a horrific one, but it’s still just one crime. Further, banning bump stocks won’t stop bump firing. The same thing can be accomplished with a rubber band or a belt loop. Will those end up being ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, November 16, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 hours ago
  • Lawsuit Filed to Block Washington’s I-1639
    The midterm elections garnered most of the press attention earlier this month, but for gun rights advocates, a Washington state ballot initiative was of equal importance. I-1639 sought to sweep in a whole slew of gun control laws and, unfortunately, it passed. That means gun owners in the state are stuck with the ramifications of this law and, to make matters worse, there’s no one to vote out over this. Luckily, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation have their back. Washington state’s new voter-approved gun-control measure violates citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms, gun-rights advocates including the National Rifle Association asserted in a lawsuit filed Thursday. The law known as Initiative 1639 was approved by 60 percent of voters in last week’s election. It calls for buyers of semi-automatic rifles to be age 21 or older, pass an enhanced background check and show proof of having taken a firearms training course, Q13 FOX of Seattle reported. But those objecting to the new law include the NRA and the Bellevue, Wash.-based Second Amendment Foundation, who filed their lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle. “We are disappointed that too many voters were fooled into supporting this 30-page gun control scheme, despite overwhelming law enforcement opposition,” Second Amendment Foundation Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said in a statement. “This measure will have a chilling effect on the exercise of the constitutional rights of honest citizens while having no impact on criminals, and we will not let it go unchallenged.” Among the plaintiffs are a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and a competitive-sport shooter, both under age 21, the Seattle Times reported. The lawsuit also argues that aspects of the new law appear to require regulation of interstate commerce – which falls under the purview of the federal government, not the state. Earlier this year, gun rights activists almost blocked the bill from appearing on the ballot due to technical shenanigans on the part of I-1639 proponents, but somehow they managed to find a friendly judge and get it there. Now, however, there is still a chance on blocking this horrible piece of…law. At the core of it, though, it’s a prime example of what gun grabbers truly want. They don’t want a change here or a change there. They want massive changes and they don’t really care if it impacts your ability to exercise your constitutionally protected right. They don’t care about your rights at all. Oh, they may couch it in the language of trying to help make the world a better place, but they don’t really give a flying flip about that. They’re interested in making it so you can’t exercise your Second Amendment rights. That’s all it’s about in their demented little minds. I hope this is a winning move by the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation. The people of Washington need this one, probably more than any other court case since McDonald. Win this, win it big, and then hopefully use that precedence to ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Friday, November 16, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 hours ago
  • Want To Know Why Red Flag Laws Are Bad? Here’s Why
    Red flag laws are all the rage right now, and I get it. If we want to stop mass shootings from happening, the idea of taking guns away from people–even doing it temporarily–who might be about to blow has something of an allure. After all, if we get their guns then they can’t shoot people, right? But the problem is that there are a lot of people who completely freak out about guns and are likely to overreact to the mere existence of a firearm. Take this Facebook account (language warning): Let me tell you why red flag laws are an awful idea. I bought a handgun years back and posted a photo of it on social… Posted by Magnus Whitman on Monday, November 12, 2018 Now, we only have Mr. Whitman’s word for this, but I see no reason to doubt it. What he’s describing sounds plausible enough. An unhinged family member saw a firearm in the profile, took it completely wrong, and could well have created a situation. After all, we have one person dead after police tried to confiscate their guns due to a red flag order. To call such a situation tense is an understatement. And this was someone who was off their rocker but, apparently, well-meaning. What happens when less than well-meaning individuals start using red flag laws to punish people they don’t like. There’s been at least some talk that the Maryland case stemmed from a political disagreement with a family member, though I haven’t seen that confirmed. Again, though, it sounds plausible. How many of us have been called various synonyms for unhinged simply because we have guns and aren’t interested in giving them up for some nebulous “public good?” Now, how many of us could well have had those guns confiscated because someone convinced a judge we were a threat, despite little evidence that we were? One of my biggest concerns with these laws has been that with too low of a burden of proof–and that’s what these laws tend to have–then they can be weaponized easily and potentially be used to disarm victims. File a red flag order, disarm the target, then roll in and murder someone. It’s not that hard to imagine. I don’t think it’ll be common, but I do think it’ll happen. I also believe we’ll see people disarmed by well-meaning but ignorant family members who get murdered by someone else because they didn’t have the means to defend themselves. Before any law is considered that would ultimately deprive someone of their rights, there should be a high burden placed on demonstrating this person is a risk. It can’t be a simple thing, something that one person can make a few phone calls and then POOF! It’s done and someone loses their Second Amendment rights for a time. Couple that with the inevitability that someone will eventually try to find a way to use these orders to deprive someone of their Second Amendment ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, November 15, 2018By Tom Knighton
    18 hours ago
  • Wisconsin Company Buys Every Employee A Handgun For Christmas
    BenShot employees got their firearm of choice for Christmas this year via BenShot Facebook Page What is one of the best handguns you can get? Some will say a Glock. Others will claim a 1911. Still, others will cite any number of other options with a few poor, deluded souls really believing you can’t go wrong with a Desert Eagle. I know. Anyway, there’s an easier answer. One of the best handguns you can get is a free handgun. Even a Hi-Point is worth the money if it’s free, though I suspect some will fight me over that statement. Either way, employees of one Wisconsin company got the best handguns you can get as their employer bought each of them a handgun for Christmas. A company that produces novelty glassware embedded with a bullet as if it had been shot has decided to give every employee a handgun as a Christmas present. Giving employees their choice of revolver as a gift is part of an effort to promote personal safety and team building, Ben Wolfgram, who co-owns Hortonville-based BenShot, said Tuesday. The business has 16 full-time employees, including several veterans. But the business also has employees who had never fired a gun, he said. This is the first time his company has done anything like this, Wolfgram said. The father-son business was started in 2015 in a small garage workshop in this village of about 3,000 residents 100 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Most workers were excited at the prospect of receiving their handguns, he said. Wolfgram said he isn’t concerned about workplace violence for a couple of reasons. One is that he has a small staff. The other is that because everyone knows one another, he apparently feels that it’s unlikely someone who shoot up the place. These are valid points. On the other hand, there’s also the point that while everyone has a gun now, everyone also knows that everyone else also has a gun. Trying to shoot up a place is a little awkward when you know there’s the potential that everyone there may have the means to shoot back. Not that everyone will have a gun on their person at all times, but if you know people have a gun but don’t know where it is, I’m sure it plays a factor in your mind. Luckily, this is a company that’s not likely to face any consumer backlash. After all, who is most likely to buy a glass with a bullet embedded in it? A gun grabber or a gun owner? If you have to think about it, you probably aren’t all that bright. This is honestly a cool thing to do for your employees. I only wish I’d have worked somewhere that bought their people guns. This is only feasible for this company due to the product they sell and their small staff size, I suspect, but it’s pretty awesome. I can’t help but think this is also a great way to build employee retention. After all, it seems that most of the ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, November 15, 2018By Tom Knighton
    20 hours ago
  • Pink’s Husband Cory Hart Warns Malibu Looters Will Be Shot
    Celebrities tend to be either anti-gun or very quiet. They don’t talk about being pro-gun or being avid shooters, and it’s not difficult to understand why. When celebrities show any interest in firearms, they’re immediately beset by anti-gunners telling them all about how evil they are. While Pink’s husband, former motocross racer Cory Hart, isn’t what most would consider a celebrity, he’s got a high enough profile due to his marriage that you would think he would walk that line. Besides, it’s not like celebrities are known for marrying pro-gun people either. Yet a recent post on his Instagram has spurred some controversy. It seems Hart has no tolerance for looting, and his Instagram post makes it pretty clear. Note the hashtags at the bottom. View this post on Instagram It’s unfortunate that some people take advantage of others in a crisis. While the malibu fires have been burning, some locals have been fighting off and defending their property against the fires. There have been sightings of looters breaking in to homes. Well, if you are a looter, think twice if you are heading back into malibu. #DefendYourLand #2ndamendment A post shared by Carey Hart (@hartluck) on Nov 13, 2018 at 7:47am PST Look, I get believing that shooting looters isn’t the way to handle the situation, but what the hell does this have to do with the Borderline shooting? None of these people are rampage killers in the making. They’re people who don’t want scum coming into their neighborhoods at a difficult time and robbing people. I’m sorry, but as a survivor of another recent natural disaster (Hurricane Michael), I get their motivation completely. I think looters are scum. If they were scavenging supplies to survive, that would be one thing, but that’s not what’s happening. They’re stealing because they can. That’s it, and that’s why I get the anger. Frankly, I’m of the belief that if more criminals were worried about getting shot for their actions, there would be a whole lot fewer criminals. I can’t help but think that the individual who thinks this is what’s wrong with this country is a prime example of what is truly wrong with it. Let the looters fear for their lives. Maybe then they’ll start making better life choices. It’s nice to see Hart making a statement that is clearly in support of the Second Amendment. While he may not have his wife’s profile, he’s still got a high enough one that it will make a few folks step back and rethink what they believe about our right to keep and bear arms. For us, that’s a win, and one I’m happy enough with. And if it prevents looting, well, that’s an incredible bonus. The post Pink’s Husband Cory Hart Warns Malibu ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, November 15, 2018By Tom Knighton
    22 hours ago
  • Man Pleads Guilty To 51 Charges In Deadly Swatting Case
    Swatting is a terrifying thing. Someone calls the police and says there’s an incident at your home, that it’s bad and it has to be dealt with right now. The police roll out, tensely wondering if this will be the day they kill someone in the line of duty. They pull up to your house and bust in the door, ready to shoot a bad person and end a dangerous situation, only to find out that the dangerous situation was their arrival. Most of the time, the police respond and figure out that nothing was going on before anyone gets hurt, but it doesn’t always happen that way. Now, a man responsible for a fatal swatting call has pled guilty to 51 charges stemming from his actions. Tyler Barriss, 26, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to making a false report resulting in a death, after he placed a hoax call late last year that resulted in police fatally shooting an unarmed man in Wichita, Kan. Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges as part of a plea deal. He will be sentenced in January, The Associated Press reports. Prosecuting U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister told The Wichita Eagle he will recommend that Barriss be sentenced to 20 years in prison, providing he writes apology letters to police, dispatchers and the family of Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old father of two who was shot by police who responded to the hoax call in December. The call that led to Finch’s death was an instance known as “swatting” — making a false report of an ongoing crime so serious that a SWAT team or large group of officers shows up. Barriss was charged with the federal crime of making hoax bomb threats in phone calls to the headquarters of the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission. He falsely reported bombs at dozens of high schools, universities, shopping malls and television stations. … In the case of Finch, Barriss placed a call claiming that he had shot his father and was holding other relatives hostage in a home in Wichita. In reality, Barriss placed the call from California. As NPR has reported, “Finch appeared at the door to the house and, following verbal commands from the officers, stepped forward with his hands up. At numerous points, however, he reached for his waistband. Fearful that Finch was going for a firearm, an officer discharged one round,” killing him. As to why Barriss made the call, the APreports that it stemmed from an argument with Shane Gaskill, 20, of Wichita and Casey Viner, 18, of North College Hill, Ohio, while playing Call of Duty, an online multiplayer video game. Let’s be clear here, swatting isn’t a game. It’s not a prank, and it’s not a punishment. It’s attempted murder by proxy. For gun owners, it puts us in an odd situation. If the police think they’re coming in to deal with a killer, I doubt they’re going to want to chat first. If they come in with guns blazing and perhaps ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, November 15, 2018By Tom Knighton
    24 hours ago
  • Does Second Amendment Apply Outside Your Home?
    The Second Amendment makes it very clear that its purpose is to protect the right to keep and bear arms. In fact, it says the right “shall not be infringed.” Of course, our right to keep and bear arms has been infringed for years at this point. To make matters worse, the very courts that are supposedly there to protect our rights have joined in on the effort to curtail them. Earlier this month, one such court decided to up the curtailment by claiming that the Second Amendment doesn’t exist outside your home. Yes. Seriously. On 2 November 2018, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held the Second Amendment effectively does not apply outside the home. From uscourts.gov: This case involves a constitutional challenge to the Massachusetts firearms licensing statute, as implemented in the communities of Boston and Brookline. All of the individual plaintiffs sought and received licenses from one of those two communities to carry firearms in public. The licenses, though, were restricted: they allowed the plaintiffs to carry firearms only in relation to certain specified activities but denied them the right to carry firearms more generally.  The plaintiffs say that the Massachusetts firearms licensing statute, as implemented in Boston and Brookline, violates the Second Amendment. The district court disagreed, and so do we. Mindful that “the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited,” District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 626 (2008), we hold that the challenged regime bears a substantial relationship to important governmental interests in promoting public safety and crime prevention without offending the plaintiffs’ Second Amendment rights. Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s entry of summary judgment for the defendants. In the last analysis, the plaintiffs simply do not have the right” to carry arms for any sort of confrontation” or “for whatever purpose” they may choose. Id. at 595, 626 (emphasis omitted).  The Court specifically said the decision applies to both the open and concealed carry of handguns. They reserved the power to infringe on concealed carry more than open carry. Judge Selya wrote the decision for the unanimous three-judge panel. They held that allowing police to decide if a citizen has a “need” to carry a gun outside the home allows sufficient exercise of Second Amendment rights. A right that can be arbitrarily denied by the government is no right at all. It is effectively just another activity that may be allowed by the government if a bureaucrat decides to allow it. In the most restrictive countries, without any semblance of Constitutional rights or the Second Amendment, those favored by the government are allowed to carry firearms outside the home. They may not be given a permit, they may be issued a nominal office such as police officer or special marshal, or party member. But those favored by the Government are given the privilege of being armed. It is hard to see how this decision differs in effect from the practice in countries without a Second Amendment. Writer Dean Weingarten ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, November 15, 2018By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Indiana Lawmaker To Push For ‘Safe Storage’ Law
    So-called “safe storage” may be the law in Washington, but it’s not for most of the rest of the country and that is ultimately a good thing. However, it remains one of the many things gun control advocates want to push for throughout the nation. The idea is that if you have to secure a firearm it will somehow become magically immune to theft is apparently very common among anti-gunners. Now, a lawmaker in Indiana is looking to push his state in that direction as well. A state lawmaker wants to make gun storage safety mandatory inside gun owners’ homes. State Sen. Jim Merritt said the Noblesville school shooting caused him to come up with this proposal. David Moore, who was 13 years old during the May 25 shooting at Noblesville West Middle School, is accused of shooting student Ella Whistler and teacher Jason Seaman. Both victims survived the shooting. Investigators said Moore had two handguns in his backpack. Merritt, a Republican from Indianapolis, said the main goal of his proposal would be to require parents to keep guns secure and away from children. Merritt is proposing a bill that would require gun owners to keep guns out of reach of children inside the home. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in most cases, it’s illegal for a child younger than 18 to have a handgun or ammunition. “In the state of Indiana, there’s no law about gun storage,” Merritt said. “That’s what we’re trying to get to. We support the right to have arms, but we just want the guns to be stored safely in our homes.” “There’s not a demarcation in the home of where the gun has to be. There just has to be a storage system in a home where the children just cannot get to them.” Merritt said that his proposal would send a strong reminder “to those that own guns that safety is No. 1. Should your child get a hold of a gun, then you’re responsible.” The general consensus I’ve seen from Indiana gun owners is something along the lines of, “How about…no.” However, do note the party. That’s right. This is from a Republican, the party we generally trust more when it comes to guns. The one I, personally, keep slipping to thinking of as natural allies in our fight to protect our Second Amendment rights. No party is immune to the stupid, though. So-called “safe storage” laws don’t help anyone. They don’t keep people safe. If a child, or anyone else, wants to gain access to that firearm, they will. It’ll just take them a little longer. But it does make it harder to access when your life is on the line. In a tense, life-or-death situation your fine motor skills degrade. You’re more likely to fumble with keys or have difficulty with a combination, all of which can delay your ability to deploy your firearm for self-defense. In other words, laws like this don’t save lives, it costs them. I sincerely hope lawmakers in Indiana ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Thursday, November 15, 2018By Tom Knighton
    1 day ago
  • Study Indicates CA’s Universal Background Check Is A Failure
    Universal background checks are one of the current goals for gun control activists throughout the nation. It’s one of the laws we expect to see in the next two years from the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. We’re told that this will do wonders to stop crime and mass shootings, despite zero evidence supporting that assertion. What we do have, however, is evidence that the law is easily ignored. California has had universal background checks since the 1990s, but a recent study calls the effectiveness of that law into question. Early results from the 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey shows 10 percent of gun owners in the state own about half of all firearms. The majority of gun owners, about 54 percent, have one or two firearms, according to the survey. What’s more, the survey found that a quarter of respondents said they did not get a background check when they bought a gun, said Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, a researcher who led the study. ‘We have only about 75 percent of our respondents reporting that they had a background check done when they bought their most recent firearm in California, so that means anywhere from one in four and one in five people not having a background check,’ Kravitz-Wirtz said. ‘(This) does not bode well for the implementation and the enforcement of California’s comprehensive background check law which has been in place since the 1990s.’ And this isn’t just some nebulous “problem,” either. We even have Hollywood celebrities admitting publicly that they broke this particular law while simultaneously calling for increased gun control. I’ve argued for some time that these “comprehensive background check laws” are unenforceable without a registration scheme to know who has what and when they got it. Otherwise, it’s impossible to look at someone’s collection and know if they’ve skirted the law. As there isn’t a registration scheme–and even then, it would only work if people complied with that law–the background check requirement is essentially pointless. Moreover, these aren’t criminals buying these guns. They’re people who probably don’t realize that California even has such a law. Ashton Kutcher didn’t realize he was admitting to a crime when he talked about receiving a firearm from a friend in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. How many others bought guns not realizing that their state already had such a law despite the media rhetoric about the lack of background checks on guns? I’m willing to bet that a lot of them did. Still, others didn’t give a damn. They were selling their property, and they didn’t need to get the state’s permission to do so, and the buyer didn’t need the state’s permission to buy said property. I can’t say that I blame them. Either way, the big takeaway is that the gun control mecca of California can’t seem to make its own universal background check system stick. How in the world are the gun grabbers going to make it work in places like the Deep South and ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, November 14, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Vox Explores Non-Gun Control Measures To Stop Violence
    Vox will never be confused with a middle-of-the-road political site. It’s non-apologetically Leftist and revels in that reality. So imagine my surprise when I found an article where they seem willing to discuss ways to combat violence other than gun control. Seriously, I was floored. Then I read the piece. So why isn’t the federal government doing anything about it? It’s a fair question, and a fair battle to wage in the halls of Congress and the court of public opinion. But it’s also worth asking: If gun control of the scale we need isn’t happening, what non-gun control measures could help as well? Jennifer Doleac, an economist at Texas A&M University and director of the Justice Tech Lab, has a sharp piece in the Regulatory Review outlining a few possible options: Several programs are at least worthy of consideration. Summer jobs programs for teens reduce mortality by 18 to 20 percent among participants. This effect is driven by a reduction in young men killed by homicide or suicide. Cognitive behavioral therapy for at-risk young men lowers violent crime arrests by 45 to 50 percent for participants. Access to Medicaid in early childhood decreases suicide by 10 to 15 percent later in life. Mandating that health insurance cover mental health benefits at parity reduces the suicide rate by 5 percent. Access to antidepressants also reduces suicide rates: An increase in antidepressant sales equivalent to one pill per capita reduced suicide by 5 percent. In addition, repealing duty-to-warn laws for mental health providers — which require that they report a patient’s violent threats, perhaps causing patients to be less honest —could reduce teen suicides by 8 percent and decrease homicides by 5 percent. Repealing juvenile curfews could lower urban gunfire by two-thirds [during the hours affected]. And if the goal is to reduce mortality in general—not just gun deaths—then there are many more options policymakers should consider. In making the case for these non-gun control ideas, Doleac argues that the fixation on gun control might be distracting advocates from presumably more tractable alternatives. “The significant time and money required to pass gun regulations — not to mention the time and money needed to enforce such laws through policing and incarceration — could be spent advocating for and implementing other programs,” Doleac argues. I’m not so sure that’s right. For one thing, many of the non-gun control programs that reduce crime and mortality are also politically controversial. Summer jobs programs, mental health care for “at-risk young men,” and Medicaid/antidepressant drug coverage all cost money, and funding for health programs is a topic of live political debate. The number one issue of the 2018 midterm elections, based on ad buys, was health care, not guns. It might not be as hard to get these initiatives passed as it would be to pass gun laws that saved the same number of lives, but my guess is that the two are close. Now, the author isn’t wrong that all of those things would be a political fight in and of themselves. But I also have to ask just why in the hell is it the ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, November 14, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Many Jews Embrace Guns After Tree Of Life Shooting
    The mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue has already faded from the news cycle. In part, it was replaced by the massacre at the Borderline Bar and Grill last week. However, part of it is that for some reason, it didn’t do a great job of advancing the gun control narrative the media seems to prefer in the wake of such events. Meanwhile, Jews were left wondering where to go. Anti-semitism has been a problem for the Jewish people for as long as there have been Jewish people. It’s not likely to go away, either. That’s unfortunate since any form of hatred against an ethnic or religious group of people is beyond stupid, but we don’t get to just decide how the world will be. We have to deal with it as it is, which may be why a number of Jews are arming themselves in the wake of the deadly synagogue shooting. There are two types of synagogues: those that believe in G-d and those that believe in government. After the mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, the government synagogues turned to the government with calls for gun control. And those that believe in G-d, turned to the Almighty. And then, trusting in the Almighty to stand with them against danger, they went out and got their guns. Morning services at the synagogue these days begin and end with guns, with talk of tactical courses, firing ranges and concealed carry permits. “If someone comes to kill you, get up early to kill him first,” the Gemara, the Babylonian Talmud, that massive encyclopedic work codifying Jewish law, advises. In synagogues across America, the teachers, actuaries and small businessmen rising early for morning prayers are preparing for a mass shooting attack. Every synagogue I have been to lately has members who carry concealed firearms. Members are attending security courses, training to identify, disarm or kill active shooters, while also preparing for the ugly aftermath of another synagogue massacre. CPR courses. Stop the bleed. Triage. While one faction of American Jews, the noisesome lefty one, shouts about gun control, the quieter, religious one, is choosing self-defense over gun control, and preparing to face another attack. … “I’m a daughter of a Holocaust survivor,” a 61-year-old Jewish woman was quoted as saying. “I lost all my aunts and uncles in the Holocaust, and I’m going to go down fighting. I’m not walking into a gas chamber. I’m not going to stand there like a sitting duck… and get shot at. I refuse.” Yonatan Stern, an IDF veteran running tactical training courses at Cherev Gideon (Gideon’s Sword), suggested that the demand is coming from the more politically and religiously conservative Jews. Meanwhile at a lefty protest in Philly, Rebecca Hornstein, a member of the If Now Now anti-Israel hate group, who backed anti-Semites like Keith Ellison and Linda Sarsour, claimed that nobody wanted guns. But quite a few real Jews did. Now, I’m just a gentile, so I’m not sure my ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, November 14, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Carry Permits Jump Over 1400 Percent When DC Went ‘Shall Issue’
    The District of Columbia may be the hub for the government, but it’s also a city with a whole lot of people living there. Sure, the biggest industry in town is the government, but it’s still a major city. Like any other major city, crime is a continuing problem. To combat that, D.C. enacted some of the most draconian gun laws in the nation, including the laws overturned in the Heller decision. Not all that long ago, the city found itself in court again, this time over its concealed carry requirements. It opted not to take the case to the Supreme Court, though, because it didn’t want to lose again and completely revamp concealed carry in this country. Now, the one-time restrictive city is now a shall-issue jurisdiction, and people are taking advantage of it. The number of Washington D.C. concealed carry permit holders skyrocketed a little over 1440 percent since the District lost a key legal battle related to its previous restrictive gun permitting process at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last year. The Metropolitan Police Department confirmed to The Daily Caller Tuesday that 1,896 concealed carry permits were issued by MPD for the calendar year to date 2018. MPD noted that several hundred approvals came from applications submitted in late 2017. These were included in the current 2018 approval number, which is why the total number of 2018 applications for DC concealed carry permits to date is 1508 — a number lower than the 2018 approval number. Prior the court ruling, according to The Washington Post, only 123 people had active D.C. concealed carry permits and MPD previously denied 77 percent of applicants for not providing the once-mandated “good reason” to carry. The new numbers of people wanting D.C. carry permits continue to rise as House Democrats announced last week their caucus will aggressively push for more gun control measures in the new Congress, where they will have a majority. … Once known for its decades-long handgun ban, D.C. went from being “may issue” to “shall issue” when it came to issuing its concealed carry permits, so attaining the permit through the District’s mandate of in-class hours and on range requirements along with MPD’s extensive criminal background check became more of a reality for private citizens across the country. I’m honestly not surprised D.C. saw that big of a jump. My time in D.C. has been centered around the more touristy places such as the Mall area. I’ve seen the Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian, all that jazz. That’s all most people see. But like any other city, there’s a lot of ugliness at work too. There’s a shady underbelly to any city, and D.C. is no exception. That underbelly often rears its head and strikes out at decent men and women who just want to go about their lives in peace. Up until the court decision, though, these men and women had no means to protect themselves from such instances. Now, they ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, November 14, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • How NJ Tries To Disarm Its Own Retired Police
    We all know that New Jersey isn’t a place that’s friendly to gun owners. Onerous regulations and an impossibility to obtain a concealed carry permit make that point loud and clear. The state is also notorious for hammering people from out-of-state for just traveling through with weapons and ammunition that doesn’t comply with state law, ignoring federal regulations in the process. All of that would be awful enough on its own, but the state also works to apparently disarm its retired police, in spite of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Since inception, New Jersey has tried to restrict, place hurdles and impede an officer’s LEOSA authorities. How? For starters, an officer must obtain a New Jersey permit to purchase and carry a firearm. They are also not allowed to carry uniformly standard law enforcement hollow point ammunition, which ballistics have proven is more effective and less penetrating than full metal jacket ammunition (mandated by New Jersey). If they want to carry across state lines, they must qualify at the same level as active officers. These regulations essentially turn retired law enforcement officers into criminals if they comply with federal law but dare not comply with New Jersey’s overly restrictive regulations. Essentially New Jersey says, “LEOSA means nothing. You must get a separate permit (which involves a fee) and follow our rules.” What’s sad though is that the criminals in Camden, Trenton and Newark clearly have no rules to follow. They seem to inflict as much mayhem as they want. Meanwhile, the legislators in Trenton are more concerned about restricting guns for law enforcement. Pathetic. Now, I’m a bit biased. My father is a retired police officer. I grew up with him having a firearm on his person pretty much all the time, in part because of the very real possibility that someone he arrested might try to get revenge. Let’s face it; criminals aren’t known for discretion much of the time. Because of that, though, I want my father to be safe. I want him to be able to be armed anywhere he goes. I’m just thankful he lives in Georgia and not New Jersey. Frankly, this is all very telling of how people think in that state. The idea that while they’re in uniform, they can be armed, but once they take it off, they lose all of the legal protections. It’s very clear they view the firearms as a privilege, not a right. They also view police as servants of the state rather than of the people. It also points out that arguments about average citizens being untrained as a justification for disarmament are just a smokescreen. After all, these officers were well-trained enough while on duty. Did they turn in their knowledge upon retirement? Of course not. It just shows that it’s never really been about training, but about restrictions. None of that is good. The LEOSA was passed to simplify what retired police officers have to go through. While it shouldn’t matter–after all, we should have constitutional carry in ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, November 14, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Home AR Builds In Danger From New House Bill
    Building an AR-15 is something a lot of people like to do. They enjoy getting their hands in there and taking a bag of parts and assembling a fully-functional rifle. Some especially enjoy taking a receiver that’s less than 80 percent complete and using that to build their gun. It feels good to assemble a weapon that you didn’t have to get the government’s permission to buy. Well, if you enjoy that, think you might enjoy it, or just don’t like busy-body gun grabbers telling you what you can or can’t do, then it’s time to dig in and get ready for a fight. After the midterm elections, we knew Democrats would use their newly minted majority in the House to try and push for gun control, but it looks like they’re not even waiting for that majority to officially step into power. Last week I-1639 passed in Washington State. Soon it might be the passage of H.R. 7115 in the US House, the so-called 3D Firearms Prohibition Act. What is H.R. 7115, really? I’m glad you asked. The opening text is as follows, but you can find the full text here: To prohibit the sale, acquisition, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications, to require homemade firearms to have serial numbers, and for other purposes. And check out Section 3: SEC. 3. Prohibition of advertising do-it-yourself assault weapons. (a) In general.—It shall be unlawful to market or advertise, on any medium of electronic communications, including over the Internet, for the sale of any of the following: (1) A firearm receiver casting or firearm receiver blank or unfinished handgun frame that— (A) at the point of sale does not meet the definition of a firearm in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code; and (B) after purchase by a consumer, can be completed by the consumer to the point at which such casting or blank functions as a firearm frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon or machinegun or the frame of a handgun. (2) An assault weapon parts kit. (3) A machinegun parts kit. H.R. 7115 was introduced on November 2, 2018 and sponsored by Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr., a Democrat from New Jersey for “himself, Mr. Sires, Ms. Norton, Mr. Cárdenas, Mr. Khanna, Mr. Pascrell, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Carbajal, Mr. Soto, Mr. McGovern, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, and Mr. Rush).” It has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on the Judiciary. This marks the end of several hobbies within the firearm community, including building Polymer 80 handguns, AR builds, AK builds, frankly any kind of build. Anti-gun politicians don’t like homebuilt firearms because it means they have no control over who is armed and what they’re armed with. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Wednesday, November 14, 2018By Tom Knighton
    2 days ago
  • Op-Ed Asks How Could Thousand Oaks Happen Amid CA Gun Rules
    Since we first learned of the horror that took place in Thousand Oaks, op-eds have flowed claiming that it’s time to restrict the private ownership of guns. Sites like Bearing Arms and others focused on the Second Amendment are asking just how in the hell this could happen if gun control was so magically efficient? Now, it seems at least one op-ed is bringing up that same question. The killing of 12 innocent people by a deranged gunman in a California nightclub has provided fertile soil for the usual cast of gun control opportunists and political ambulance chasers. What few people seem to be asking is how could such an atrocity occur in a state with such strict gun laws? California has a 10-day waiting period on handgun purchases, which it also limits to one handgun per month. It prohibits private sales and requires a background check on every firearms purchase. It regulates ammo sales. It prohibits regular capacity magazines. It discourages concealed carry by the law-abiding by making permits virtually impossible to obtain. California also vigorously tracks and disarms those convicted of a crime and others it considers “dangerous.” Despite all of these obstacles, the gunman was able to legally purchase his handgun and carry out the murder of 12 other people. How exactly would more restrictions have helped anyone? Again, it’s a fair question. It’s one that gun grabbers would do well to at least think of an answer for because it will come up in debates on the topic. The author, Bryan Hyde, understands pretty well that people who call for gun control in the wake of these things aren’t thinking rationally. The reason so many decent folks tend to buy into this authoritarian mythology is that shocking acts of mass violence tend to short-circuit our emotions and our ability to think rationally. That means we’re more likely to make choices in an attempt to feel better rather than carefully considering whether we’re actually affecting positive change. Aaron Pomerantz, a graduate student in social psychology at the University of Oklahoma, has written a worthwhile essay on “The Four Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Mass Violence.” Among the responses Pomerantz identifies are the tendency to engage in emotional decision-making, which limits our capacity to see alternatives or to recognize flaws in our plans. We also tend to oversimplify and assign simple causes for actions that are often the result of highly complex societal and psychological issues. He explains the availability heuristic which persuades us to believe that shocking events like mass shootings or shark attacks are happening more frequently than they actually are. When the media and political class talk about these things as if they were a daily occurrence – which they are not – we fallaciously believe that the authorities are right to take extreme action. He’s not wrong, either. As someone who has been there, I can say with some authority that he’s right. Grief bypasses the more rational parts of your mind. It makes you desperately want someone to “do something.” ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, November 13, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Student Editorial Calls For Repeal of Second Amendment
    College is supposed to be a time when you hone your critical thinking skills; when you learn about new ideas and new ways of thinking about the world. It’s a time when you begin to think and process information like an adult, basically. That’s what it used to be, anyway. Today, it’s just another place people are inundated with leftist ideas. It’s not just the professors who do it, but even student communication groups like student newspapers join in the misinformation, especially when it comes to guns. Take the Hofstra student paper, for example. Besides quoting the erroneous claim that there have been 307 mass shootings–those numbers include things like gang warfare and other such killings that meet the numerical threshold but don’t fit what people perceive as “mass shootings”–they go on to say this: Gun control, for some reason, still remains a controversial topic in the United States. What people refuse to acknowledge is that it’s become an epidemic. Because people can’t feel safe going to concerts (Las Vegas), can’t feel safe going to movies (Denver), can’t feel safe going to work (YouTube, California, Capital Gazette, etc.), can’t feel safe going to schools (Parkland, Virginia Tech, Columbine, etc.), can’t feel safe going to bars (Pulse, Thousand Oaks) and can’t even feel safe going to religious services (Pittsburgh, Sutherland Springs). Yes, I understand people argue that the Second Amendment, which states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” is untouchable and indispensable, but last time I checked, the country that boasts the largest army in the world no longer has any need to form a “well regulated militia.” As well as this – have we forgotten what “amend” even means? Change. No, we haven’t forgotten what amend means. Clearly, the writer either forgot what the Bill of Rights represents or they were never taught it. In this day and age, it’s probably the latter. The Bill of Rights was created to protect the rights of Americans from a government that would enforce its own will on the people. It’s an insurance policy against tyranny. Each of those first ten amendments was designed specifically to limit the government’s power so the people could hold that government in check. It doesn’t grant anything. But there’s something very wrong with kind of people who can hold President Trump up as a tyrant and dictator in the making while simultaneously arguing that because we have a standing army, the citizenry doesn’t need guns. You don’t get it both ways. You don’t get to pretend that the president is the ultimate threat to liberty, so much of a threat that students needed therapy just because he was elected, and then pretend that we don’t need to defend our liberty with guns. The very thinking is insane. Then again, when you feel horribly unsafe everywhere you go and don’t try to take steps to make yourself safe ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, November 13, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Family Of Thousand Oaks Victim: ‘It’s Not About Gun Control’
    When you lose someone to a mass shooting, it’s incredibly easy to lash out at the weapon used. Emotion overrides everything else in your brain, at least for a moment, and you want to lash out. Since the media has spent years trying to paint guns as responsible for mass shootings, guess what gets the blame during these emotional times? But the family of victim Alaina Housley seems to be a little more rational than most. While I’m sure they’re not necessarily fans of firearms at the moment, according to what they said to CBS News, they aren’t necessarily thinking gun control is the only way forward either. His wife, Alaina’s aunt, actress Tamera Mowry Housley, is looking for answers. “Alaina was beautiful,” she said. “And she was my friend. Yes, there needs to be a change, but all the noise … nothing’s been done.” And it’s because of that – despite being in the midst of so much grief – that they all agreed to talk to us. Alaina, they say, would have wanted to dig deeper than politics. Adam said, “If I was to walk out of here and the first thing I was to say was, you know, ‘Gun control,’ guess what? Half the country (snaps fingers), [conversation] ends.” “And we don’t want the conversation to end,” said Tamera. “It can’t this time,” said Adam. “We want it to continue.” Cowan asked. “Have you been able to wrap your head around talking about her in the past tense?” “Yes,” said Arik. How come? “We don’t believe that her voice will die. We believe that there is a message that’s out there.” “What’s the message?” Cowan asked. “To us, it’s to be kind to one another. It’s to put down your technology, put down your phones and look at somebody and have a conversation. It’s not about gun control; this message is about doing something bigger, to be with your community, to love one another.” “All things that you don’t have to legislate?” “Right. Exactly,” said Arik. You know, I actually have no issue with that. The moment someone starts talking gun control, I stop taking them seriously. I see them not as someone worth having a discussion with, but an enemy. At that moment, I understand that they have it in their head that there’s no possible solution other than restricting my rights. But mass shootings are complicated things. There are a lot of things that go into making a mass shooter, things we would do well to take a look at and see if we can cut these things off long before they get to the stage of someone looking to get a gun. What Housley’s family is talking about is something that has nothing to do with any of that, it seems. Instead, it’s more about making the most of your time here. Honestly? That’s probably the most positive response I’ve ever seen to someone who lost a loved one in a mass shooting. ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, November 13, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Californians Flock To Gun Store In Wake Of Borderline Shooting
    There’s a single, solitary gun store in Thousand Oaks, California. Since the deadly events at the Borderline Bar & Grill, though, it’s been a busy place. While I do expect it’ll get picketed at some point, and people will likely say that it remaining open is somehow insensitive, that’s not why it’s busy. No, it’s busy because a number of Californians are waking up to the fact that the police can’t protect you and gun control laws won’t stop these kinds of things from happening, but being a good guy with a gun might give you a fighting chance. From USA Today: The Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, site of the nation’s latest major deadly mass shooting, rests just north of a residential neighborhood in this normally placid California enclave. The horror that erupted there late Wednesday night brought out Brandon Simone and his neighbor, Molly, who live in apartments down the street from the bar. Molly, who asked that her last name not be used for her own safety, opened up her apartment and meager first-aid kit to survivors suffering broken bones, open gashes and mental anguish while they awaited medical treatment. Following that sleepless night, Simone and Molly drove together three miles down the road to VC Defense, the only brick-and-mortar gun store in town. Simone, 35, is a single father who previously vowed never to have a gun in the same home as his kid. But while his teenage son Ethan skateboarded outside, he asked the shop’s owner what he needed to do to buy a 9-millimeter pistol. … There’s a documented phenomenon in America following mass shootings in which gun enthusiasts stream to dealers to buy up contested accessories like bump stocks before they are made illegal. Von Colln’s customers on Thursday didn’t appear to be those types, at least not during the couple of hours he allowed a reporter to hang out in his store and speak with customers. They weren’t driven by a collector’s desire to hoard guns and accessories, but by raw fear. Some were small business owners suddenly feeling vulnerable. Many were first-time buyers suddenly seeking weapons for self-defense. Von Colln had to turn at least one customer away because he didn’t have proper paperwork fulfilling California’s stringent identification requirements. … As new customers cycled through the store, the constant chatter – besides general expressions of hatred for the shooter – was about the six unarmed, off-duty law enforcement officers who were reportedly at the bar during the shooting. Their lack of weapons was a presumed consequence of a California law barring firearms in bars. “At least there could’ve been a chance” of preventing the shooting if they were armed, said Von Colln. First, I want to say that while there may well have been six off-duty police officers there unarmed, I’m pretty sure California law would have allowed them to carry in the bar. Most likely, they didn’t carry because they were there drinking, and the general rule is if you’re drinking, you don’t carry. It’s a good rule, too. But ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, November 13, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Should Thousand Oaks Killer Have Been Committed?
    There are a handful of ways people lose their right to own a firearm. One of those is to be involuntarily committed. Based on what we know of the killer in the Borderline shooting, he was a very disturbed man. Suffering from PTSD, there had been incidents before, but now people are taking a step back and asking whether or not he should have been able to have a gun prior to the tragic shooting in the first place. Should he have been committed after a standoff with police? The gunman who killed 12 people at a country music bar in California fired a bullet through the wall of his mother’s home during a volatile row in April and spent hours holed up inside until police coaxed him out but he was cleared by mental health officials and was somehow still allowed to own the Glock 45. used in Wednesday’s attack. In April, police were called to [the killer]’s home in Newbury Park after neighbors heard loud crashes coming from inside the house he shared with his mother Colleen. She lived ‘in fear’ of him, the neighbors said, adding that [he], who friends have described as ‘cocky’, was ‘hell to live with.’ The neighbors already suspected that he was suffering from PTSD after returning from a tour of Afghanistan between 2010 and 2011 and say he was disrespectful and rude whenever he passed them in the street. When police arrived at the home, they called in mental health specialists to help resolve the situation and, according to The Wall Street Journal, it took hours for them to get [him] out of the house. Inside, furniture had been tossed all over the house and there were holes in the wall including the one caused by a bullet, they said. They had heard gunshots, they said, coming from inside the home and there was a bullet hole in the wall. Despite the combination of red flags, the mental health specialists who responded decided that [the killer] was not suitable to be involuntarily committed under Section 5150 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. Now, I’m not a mental health professional, but if someone is shooting inside his home while the police are outside of it, just how is he not suitable for commitment? Honestly, it baffles me. Of course, I’m looking at this through the clarity of hindsight. I know what dark turn he was going to take at some point between April and early November. I know where he met his end and how many people he slaughtered before that. Don’t get me wrong. I understand PTSD well enough to know that legions suffer with it to various degrees and never do anything like this. I’m not entirely convinced that PTSD is to blame for this. I really think the guy had some other stuff wrong with him. But the point remains that regardless of what screw was loose in his head, he was involved with a standoff with police. How in the world ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Tuesday, November 13, 2018By Tom Knighton
    3 days ago
  • Washington Gun Shops Brace For Drastically Increased Demand For Long Guns
    Washington state decided that it didn’t have enough gun control laws, so it passed a whole butt-load of them last week. For better or worse–and it’s mostly worse–these laws will soon take effect. Among them are new restrictions on rifles, including a requirement for a more enhanced background check, a training requirement, a so-called safe storage law, and increased age requirements to purchase them among other things. Gun stores in the state, however, are bracing for increased demand as people flock to the stores to pick up guns before the new regulations go into effect. “The response to this is always classic,” said Wade Gaughran, owner of Wade’s Eastside Guns. “People will buy guns to beat the deadline.” The initiative also authorizes the state to require gun sellers to add $25 to sales of semi-automatic rifles to pay for new regulations. Under a “safe storage” provision, gun owners could face criminal penalties if someone not legally allowed to have the rifles, such as a child or felon, gains access to them and fires the gun or uses it in a crime. The safe storage provision does not apply if the gun was secured with a trigger lock or similar device or if the owner had reported it stolen within five days. “We will see people speed up their gun purchases,” Gaughran said. “(Buyers will say) ‘I’ll buy the next year or two of my gun budget in the next few months just so I can bypass this law for as long as possible.'” The Alliance for Gun Responsibility advocated for the initiative. Spokesman Tallman Trask said new regulations can lead to increased sales but the initiative will not lead to “onerous restrictions.” “What it really boils down to is people are a little unsure of how to respond to new regulations and they go out and buy new firearms,” Trask said. “It’s unfortunate.” Except that the initiative expressly creates onerous restrictions. A 10-day waiting period and a training requirement just to buy a damn long gun? I’m sorry, but that’s incredibly onerous, especially since only a handful of crimes are committed with long guns each year. Of course, what else do you expect from a gun grabber? Like they understand how difficult it is to buy a gun right now? But while Trask thinks it’s “unfortunate” that people will flock to gun stores to buy rifles, I say it’s inevitable. People don’t like restrictions on what they want to do, so they’ll do whatever they can to avoid them if possible. In a case like this, it means the next two months will be a long-gun buying frenzy in Washington as people snap up their guns now, so they don’t have to deal with the new rules. Gun grabbers will never acknowledge one thing about these new regulations, and that’s how they won’t work. Even after we have tons of data showing that it doesn’t, it won’t matter. They’re oblivious to reality. Unfortunately, their oblivious natures hurt real people. How ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, November 12, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Photographer Defends ‘A Christmas Story’ Inspired Baby Photo
    I’m not much of a Christmas person. My wife is, but I’m not. There are reasons for this, but they’re not relevant. But the one Christmas movie that’s on my must-see list every year is “A Christmas Story.” The tale of Ralphie and his quest to get himself a Red Ryder BB gun under the tree has always been my absolute favorite Christmas movie, which is probably why my wife shared this post from Facebook with me. It was easily the most adorable thing I’ve seen all year, so of course, people had to make a thing of it. “Only 49 days until Christmas!! Ralphie loved his pink bunny suit I had made for him!” the Shelbyville photographer wrote in a post that has since gone viral with over 2,000 likes and nearly 600 comments. “Disclaimer – the BB gun is made of wood to ensure that he did NOT shoot his eye out during the creation of this photo.” Despite Haehl’s disclaimer, some social media commenters found the picture to be less than funny. “Will now unfollow you. Who the hell would take a picture of a baby and a gun just for money. Such a waste since you are so talented. Think hard about your lack of principles,” one critic wrote in a since-deleted comment. “Also unfollowing and unliking you. Extremely distasteful…. Guns are never ‘cute’, not even as a prop or movie reference. Disgusting. The gun culture in this country is a disgrace,” another agreed. This comment has also been deleted. Meanwhile, Haehl said she never intended for the photos to be offensive or encourage gun violence in any way. Because it doesn’t. Only a complete moron would look at that and see it glorifying firearms. Oh, don’t get me wrong. Someone unfamiliar with the second greatest Christmas movie of all time (right behind Die Hard) might not get the photograph, but who in the hell would think this is somehow even close to anything other than a cute photo? They can’t. What I want to know is how many of these self-righteous jackwagons watch movies and television shows with guns in them. After all, those are real guns, and they’re being shown in the context of people shooting other people. They do far more to “glorify” guns than this photo ever could. The truth is that some people want to purge guns from our collective consciousness. Honestly, this attack on this photographer and her photograph are just another example of something I’ve been talking about for some time, and that’s the stigmatization of gun owners. Haehl, who may or may not own a gun, is being attacked because she didn’t bow down to the belief that guns should be out of sight and out of mind at a minimum. She’s being attacked because she recognized a prop as being a key part of a beloved holiday movie and included it, rather than bowing to some people’s politics and pretending guns aren’t a thing that exists. They’re stigmatizing her ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, November 12, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Schumer: ‘There Is New Hope’ On Gun Control
    One thing I’ve been saying since the midterms is that I’m not overly concerned about losing the House because the GOP retained the Senate. More than that, though, they gained ground. As the Republican Party is far more likely to side with Second Amendment advocates than their counterparts, this means our guns aren’t at risk anymore. However, it seems that Sen. Chuck Schumer disagrees with me. In the wake of the most recent mass shooting at a California bar, and now that the Democrats are set to control the House, Sen. Chuck Schumer says there’s a better chance something might get done on gun control. … “There is new hope with a new Congress that we can pass some good laws for gun safety,” Schumer said at a press conference Sunday. If the Democratic House can pass something, GOP senators on the fence may now be persuaded. What would be first? An expansion of mandatory background checks, Schumer says. “If you’re a law-abiding citizen, you get the gun. If you’re a felon; if you’re a spousal abuser; if you’re adjudicated mentally ill, you don’t.” Of course, the article touts the bogus claim that there have been over 300 mass shootings this year, but more importantly, it claims that Republicans may side with Democrats on universal background checks. Now, maybe Schumer knows something I don’t. However, I can’t help but think that any Republican who crossed the aisle on guns is someone who needs to start making their retirement plans right away. After all, I can all but promise they won’t be re-elected if they do. It’s different if the Democrats are willing to make some kind of deal, where universal background checks get passed in exchange for something else, but in this current political climate, I don’t see that happening. Especially since Republicans aren’t likely to throw guns, of all things, under the bus without getting a whole lot in return. And more importantly, I think Schumer knows it. He knows that unless the Democrats start acting a whole lot more reasonable, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of almost anything the House passes to make it through the Senate, much less gun control. As it stands now, even Republicans who might be OK with universal background checks won’t vote for it because they refuse to give Democrats the satisfaction. While that’s an awful way to govern, it’s a good way to keep our rights intact, so I’ll take it. Gun control may not be the third rail for Democrats it used to be, but that doesn’t mean it’s still a winning issue for them. If they keep pushing on this, they’ll find out the hard way that those numbers were soft when they were reported. Especially as more and more people recognize that even universal background checks won’t accomplish anything over the long term. For now, though, we just need the GOP to hold strong and keep their ranks in check. The last thing we need right now ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, November 12, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Gun Control Activists Stage ‘Die-In’ In Times Square
    In the inevitable aftermath of Thousand Oaks, gun control activists are going to try and step up their game. Especially after a whole lot of their candidates went down in flames during the midterm elections. For the next few weeks, expect activists to engage in any display they can to try and toy with people’s emotions and to manipulate them into supporting wrong-headed regulations on guns. It’s their only play, but they have been doing it pretty well over the last year or so. And it’s already started. Residents of grieving Thousand Oaks, Calif., joined New Yorkers on Sunday to recreate the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting by laying motionless in Times Square in a “die-in” to protest gun violence. “This is what people in Parkland had to walk through. This is what people in Thousand Oaks had to walk through,” a Gays Against Guns organizer chanted as 50 demonstrators lay supine under a rainbow flag on Broadway near W. 43rd St. Another 50 protesters gathered around the stretched-out participants, chanting “thoughts and prayers are not enough, gun control now.” The references were to last Wednesday’s massacre at Borderline Bar & Grill in California, where a dozen people were shot dead by a deranged gunman, and the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla. that left 17 students and staff members dead. Gays Against Guns gathers every time there’s a mass shooting with ten or more casualties. “It keeps ramping up,” said Jay W. Walker, 51, an organizer for the gun control group. “It’s a constant thing. “We’re at a point where out of the 312 days of the year, we’re now at 304 mass shootings.” Except, we’re not at any 304 mass shootings. At least, not as the public thinks of such things. After all, gang violence and what happened in Thousand Oaks aren’t related in any meaningful way besides the weapon that was used. That would be like trying to link truck attacks with motor vehicle accidents in an effort to advance legislation. To be sure, these people have a right to protest. I don’t take any issue with that. I might think their protest is dumb, but I’m pretty sure I’m not their target anyway. Then again, I should point out that the people of New York City are typically already on their side, so this is “preaching to the choir.” But I’d also point out to these people that while a firearm was used for evil in Thousand Oaks, it’s used far, far more often to defend human life. Try 2.5 million more times each and every year. When gun control activists start making their demands, they need to tell us how they’ll only disarm the bad people and not any of that 2.5 million that survive each year because of a firearm. That’s what I want to see. Of course, I won’t hold my breath. After all, I ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, November 12, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Regular As Clockwork, Gun Grabbers Don’t See Failure But Opportunity
    There is one thing I have to admire about gun control advocates, and that’s their tenacity. They don’t accept failure on any level. Normally, that’s a good thing. However, in this case, it’s not necessarily the positive attribute you might otherwise expect. Especially since they’re ignoring reality because of their tenacity. It seems that despite the complete and total failure of gun control to prevent the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting, they’re figuring the problem is just not enough gun control. After a mass killing in Santa Barbara in 2014, California passed a law that let police officers and family members seek restraining orders to seize guns from troubled people. A year later, a shooting rampage in San Bernardino led to voters approving a ballot proposition to outlaw expanded magazines for guns and require background checks for buying ammunition. The state has also banned assault weapons and regulates ammunition sales – all part of a wave of gun regulation that began a quarter century ago with a mass murder at a San Francisco law firm. California may have the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but that still did not prevent the latest mass killing – a shooting on Wednesday that left 12 people dead at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks. The community of Thousand Oaks is just starting to grieve its losses, and investigators are still combing through the background of the gunman, who was found dead after the shooting. But gun control activists and politicians in the state are already weighing what more can be done, and whether existing measures could have prevented the killing. The attack came just as California elected a new governor, Gavin Newsom, this week, and eyes are on him to see how he responds. Newsom is seen as even more aggressive on gun restrictions than his predecessor, Governor Jerry Brown, and some experts say the state could see the passage of even tougher laws. As lieutenant governor, Newsom led the effort after the San Bernardino killings to pass the ballot proposition on high-capacity magazines and background checks – a measure that has not been enacted yet because of a court challenge. … Even with the country’s toughest gun laws, California has still had the most deaths from mass shootings since 1982, according to a database compiled by Mother Jones – 128 people killed. Florida, with roughly half the population of California, has the second most deaths from mass shootings over that time, 118 killed. But California also has the highest population in the country, and no one knows how many mass shootings may have been prevented by the gun laws already in place in the state. My guess? None. Not a single mass shooting was stopped by California’s laws. If I feel like being generous, maybe a couple were stopped due to red flag laws being applied correctly, but that’s about it. And that’s only if I’m feeling generous. I don’t. That’s mostly because I watch California pass gun control law after gun control law, only to see them never even consider ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, November 12, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago
  • Pelosi Promises New Movement On Gun Control
    Democrats throughout the country ran on gun control, and while it wasn’t the big winner they thought it would be, it seems that they’re going to try something unusual for them. They’re going to try to keep their word. Despite modest gains in the House and actually losing ground in the Senate, Democrats feel like they still should go forward with a radical progressive agenda when it comes to guns. Newly ascendant Democrats are promising congressional action on gun control amid a rash of mass shootings, including a late-night assault at a California bar that killed 12 people. Measures including expanded background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons are likely to reach the House floor when Democrats retake control after eight years of Republican rule. “The American people deserve real action to end the daily epidemic of gun violence that is stealing the lives of our children on campuses, in places of worship and on our streets,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the Democratic leader who is running for a second stint as House speaker. Pelosi vowed to push for a range of actions to stem gun violence, including restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a measure allowing temporary removal of guns from people deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others. The measures could win approval in the Democratic-controlled House next year but will face opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate and the White House, where President Donald Trump has promised to “protect the Second Amendment.” Still, gun control advocates believe they have the political momentum to make guns a central issue next year. The political calculus on guns is changing, said Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, whose Florida district includes the Parkland high school where 17 people were killed in February. “We saw it start on Tuesday and we’re going to see it accelerate in January,” he said. Of course, they forget that taking the House was a historical certainty not because of guns, but because the President’s party almost always loses seats in the House. This time was no different, nor was it really expected to be. What it wasn’t, though, was a mandate to try and push through the most liberal agenda they could imagine. Especially when it comes to guns. Luckily, they can try all they want, it’s still not going anywhere. Over the next two years, expect the House to pass bill after bill restricting gun rights. I mean, expect anything and everything. At this point, a total gun ban coming out of the House during this period wouldn’t shock me. Then it’ll run right into the Senate, where Republicans made significant gains themselves. You know, the same Republican Party that they argue is oh-so-beholden to the National Rifle Association? Yeah, that Republican Party. Whoops. Yeah, they’ll push and push for gun control over the next two years, possibly to the exclusion of anything else, and they’ll probably do more to combat the NRA’s current financial situation than any gun rights advocate could ever dream ... read more
    Source: Bearing ArmsPublished on Monday, November 12, 2018By Tom Knighton
    4 days ago