Tuesday, March 20, 2018

VICE News On Doug Ritter And Knife Rights

I stumbled across this short video yesterday on Reddit. It is an episode of HBO's VICE News that features Doug Ritter and Knife Rights. It is surprisingly well done and even more surprisingly pro-knife. VICE News talks about the founding of Knife Rights, their success in many states, and then concentrates on the problems with New York City's "gravity knife" law.

One aspect that is brought out is that the fight against unjust laws can have unlikely allies. As an attorney with  NYC's Legal Aid Society put it, he never thought "in a million years that he'd be working with a Second Amendment group on a criminal justice issue."

Monday, March 19, 2018

GRNC Alert About Legislative School Safety Meeting

As a follow-up to my earlier post regarding the meeting on Wednesday of the NC Joint Legislative Committee on School Safety, here is an alert from Grass Roots North Carolina with more information and a request to email committee members if you can't attend.


Wednesday, state legislators are hearing arguments that will inform life-and-death decisions regarding school security. Please be there … 
This Meeting Needs Your Voice
At the state legislature, the House Select Committee on School Safety will be meeting on Wednesday at 9:00 AM. There may be opportunities for public comments, and it is critical that this not be a one-sided discussion. We all know that the anti-gun-rights crowd will have people there to demand policies that will only make things worse. Due to the deadly serious nature of this topic, ineffective, feel-good schemes cannot be allowed to take hold. Please make every effort to attend these meetings. Below, find details on the upcoming meetings.

Gun-free Zones: the Psychotic-Killer Loophole
The most effective way to reduce mass public shootings is for our elected officials to wise up and eliminate dangerous gun-free zones (GFZs). Documented evidence tells us that criminals and psychotics carefully choose GFZs to commit their heinous acts, because they know they will not be met with timely armed resistance.
All but two of U.S. mass shootings since 1950 have occurred in so-called
“gun-free” zones.
That’s 98%!

Along with improved security provisions, such as fewer unlocked entrances and generally beefed up security, the most effective way to protect school children is to proclaim that any attack will likely be met with rapid armed resistance from an unpredictable source; that source would be teachers and other school personnel. 

Remove the Shackles
Of course, teachers who do not want to carry defensive weapons should not be required to. However, the shackles must be removed from those willing to mount effective resistance should 
the worst occur. Some seem very concerned about teachers using weapons during a dire emergency, but consider the alternative: bullets flying in only one direction and resulting in the deaths of many innocent and helpless people. Any objection to evening those odds seems entirely unreasonable. Let’s demand that legislators close the psychotic-killer loophole!


  • EMAIL THE REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE MEMBERSCLICK HERE to generate one of two email messages, and then CLICK HERE to send an email to the other half of the committee Republicans. After each click, check your email program. An email should have been generated for you. Simply add you name to the bottom and hit ‘send.’ 
(This 'click' method likely won't work with gmail. Please use the delivery method/information listed under 'Deliver This Message' if using gmail).
    If an email was not generated automatically, or wasn’t generated properly, send the email using the copy/paste email list and the copy/paste text provided below, under ‘Deliver This Message.’
  • ATTEND THE SCHOOL SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING: It’s critical that the public be involved in these meetings, especially because it’s the safety of the citizenry’s own children that is being debated. Practical and effective solutions from concerned citizens like you must be discussed, and ought to dominate the conversation. But without you there to speak, or at least to support the speakers by your presence, that may not happen. Please attend. Find the meeting details below. 
WHAT:House Select Committee on School Safety
WHEN:Wednesday, March 21, 9:00 AM (arrive an hour early if possible)
Legislative Office Building, Rm. 643
300 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC
(directions: https://www.ncleg.net/help/directions.html)
NOTES:Dress for the press. Please dress professionally with no inflammatory slogans or the like on clothing.
 Arrive early. To deal with any parking issues, and to make sure you get a seat. Arriving at least one hour early is recommended.


Copy/Paste email List(s)
Allen.McNeill@ncleg.net, Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net, Brenden.Jones@ncleg.net, Chris.Malone@ncleg.net, Cody.Henson@ncleg.net, Craig.Horn@ncleg.net, Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net, David.Lewis@ncleg.net, Donna.White@ncleg.net, Donny.Lambeth@ncleg.net, Harry.Warren@ncleg.net, Holly.Grange@ncleg.net, Jamie.Boles@ncleg.net, Jason.Saine@ncleg.net, Jeffrey.Elmore@ncleg.net,

Jimmy.Dixon@ncleg.net, John.Bell@ncleg.net, John.Faircloth@ncleg.net, John.Torbett@ncleg.net, Josh.Dobson@ncleg.net, Justin.Burr@ncleg.net, Kelly.Hastings@ncleg.net, Larry.Strickland@ncleg.net, Linda.Johnson2@ncleg.net, Nelson.Dollar@ncleg.net, Pat.Hurley@ncleg.net, Sarah.Stevens@ncleg.net, Stephen.Ross@ncleg.net, Ted.Davis@ncleg.net

*Due to the limitations of some email programs and some spam filtering systems, it may be best to send this email in multiple groups. Use the copy/paste emails above, as separated into groups, to send the message to the respective set of recipients.

Suggested Subject
"For School Safety: End Gun-Free Zones"  

Dear Committee Member:

I am writing today in reference to your service on the House Select Committee on School Safety.

Since the recent disturbing events in Florida, all the usual gun-control voices have called for all the usual ineffective and unconstitutional schemes. None of these useless and ominous notions are acceptable, and I insist that you not lend them credence during your upcoming committee meetings. I do expect you to discuss school security concepts that are actually effective and will truly result in the protection of school children.

Removing the shackles from school employees who have concealed handgun permits would be the simplest and most effective solution. The legislature could do this almost immediately by removing the dangerous gun-free zone (GFZ) status from school buildings and grounds. Teachers and other school staff are no danger to students. If they were, we wouldn’t allow them unfettered, daily access to our children. Yet, the threat of swift armed resistance from an unpredictable source is a highly effective deterrent. This is why a full 98% of all mass public shooting since 1950 have occurred in so-called “gun-free” zones. Should the worst occur, teachers defending their students with deadly force is not such a terrible thing when you imagine the alternative. Indeed, no imagination is necessary, as recent events have shown us exactly what the alternative looks like.

A large number of teachers are already willing and ready for classroom carry. A recent Elon University Poll of North Carolina teachers (which skewed heavily Democrat) revealed that roughly 20% of teachers are open to the idea of concealed handguns in the classroom. Consider that the number of every day citizens who legally carry a gun in our state is something less than 10%. This means the number of teachers willing to consider classroom carry is at least twice the number in the general population who already carry a handgun. This is great news, and further evidence that dangerous GFZs have run their course. 

Our children’s very lives are at stake. I demand that your time on the School Safety committee be used to consider and implement only practical and effective policies. I will be monitoring your actions on this matter through Grass Roots North Carolina legislative alerts.


NC School Safety Committee's First Meeting

The North Carolina Joint Legislative Committee on School Safety will have its first meeting this Wednesday in Raleigh. Here are some of the details:
What:   The School Safety Committee’s first meeting

Where:   Room 643 of the Legislative Office Building in Raleigh.

When:   Wednesday, March 21st at 9am to Noon, lunch then resume at 2pm
I can assure you that those opposed to allowing teachers to make the choice to be armed will be there.

The Bloomberg-funded North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (sic) is organizing its volunteers to be there. While there is no mention of a pre-hearing preparation session, I wouldn't be surprised if one is planned so as to coordinate their arguments for making children less safe in the name of safety. You can also be assured that they will fill the room with people wearing orange or red t-shirts with their slogans on it.

The NEA's NC affiliate, North Carolina Association of Educators, has come out against allowing teachers to be armed according to ABC Channel 11 Raleigh. I fully expect their lobbyists to be there.
The North Carolina Association of Educators argues teachers want to be armed with books and technology, not guns.

"It's a dangerous prospect to put out there and we would surely hope that the General Assembly would not even entertain that idea of arming teachers in North Carolina, but we will fight back if it does come forward," said NCAE President Mark Jewell.
As Tom Gresham made clear on this past Sunday's Gun Talk Radio, sitting back is no longer a viable option. We need to show up - in shirts and ties - and make the case for allowing teachers who choose to be to be armed. If we don't, our children and grandchildren will continue to be at risk in their officially gun-free zones. Those who oppose allowing teachers and administrators being armed will be there with emotional arguments, extraneous examples, and their orange/red t-shirts.

We may have the better solutions and arguments but they are better at packing hearings with their supporters. They understand optics better than we do. They and their media allies will run with that.

So, if you can be in Raleigh this coming Wednesday, please attend this meeting. To steal an argument from the gun prohibitionists, do it for the children!

AR-15 Podcast "Loose Rounds"

I was a guest on the AR-15 Podcast's Loose Rounds 004 episode. Reed, Mike, and I discussed the events in Parkland, Florida and the aftermath. We discussed some of the common arguments being put forth such as regulating "weapons of war", raising the age to buy a firearm to 21, and "rate increasing devices".  Reed is a practicing attorney in Texas so he added a good deal of the legal perspective to our conversation.

I had a great time discussing the issues with Reed and Mike. I'm sorry J.D. couldn't join us.

You can listen to the episode here or download it on iTunes

If you like AR-15 rifles, carbines, and pistols, you should put this podcast on your list of "must listen" podcasts. In addition to the Loose Rounds episodes, they have interviews with those in the industry as well as great advice on how to build or modify your own AR. Thanks to them I discovered Aero Precision which I have used for a couple of builds so far.

Declining "Gun Violence" Tax Revenue In Seattle

Who'd a thunk it? Collections of the Seattle, WA "gun violence" (sic) tax are down again. Did any of the politicians on the Seattle City Council not figure out that buyers could vote with their feet and buy their ammo and guns outside the city limits?

I guess not given their original estimates of annual revenue was expected to be in the $300-500,000 range and actual 2017 collections were $92,220.74. We only know these real numbers thanks to the efforts of Dave Workman and the Second Amendment Foundation who had to sue to force the original disclosure of the 2016 numbers.

The Second Amendment Foundation released this statement regarding the tax collections:
BELLEVUE, WA. – Seattle’s “gun violence tax” revenue has once again failed to meet predictions, demonstrating once again that this was really a thinly disguised gun control scheme that was sold to the public as an effort to reduce so-called “gun violence,” the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

Figures released by the city under a Public Records Act request by the senior editor of SAF’s monthly magazine TheGunMag.com show the city collected $93,220.74 last year, a decline of nearly $10,000 from the amount collected in 2016 and far below the $300,000 to $500,000 revenue originally predicted by its proponents on the Seattle City Council when the tax was hastily passed almost three years ago.

“Once again,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “Seattle’s pie-in-the-sky gun tax revenue forecast has been proven to be a complete failure, essentially like other gun control fantasies. The revenue data only reinforces our claim in a lawsuit against the tax that this was a gun control scheme to drive firearm sales and gun stores out of the city, which it obviously did.

“It is important to remember that the city would never have released this data if it hadn’t been for our lawsuit in 2016 that forced Seattle to come clean and turn over the revenue figures,” he observed. “Otherwise, we believe the city would have continued to conceal this information because it is embarrassingly short of their prediction.”

“This was, and remains, a First Amendment issue,” said TheGunMag.com Senior Editor Dave Workman. “The public, and especially Seattle taxpayers, have a right to this information.”

“The city probably spent more on legal bills to keep the information confidential, and on manpower to comply with the Public Records Act and last year’s court order than it has so far collected,” Gottlieb estimated. “But this is a pretty good example of what gun control is all about. It always begins with grandiose promises, it invariably hurts the wrong people, it doesn’t stop criminals, and in the end those responsible stubbornly refuse to admit their real goal was to further erode gun rights. And the public winds up essentially worse off than they were before.”

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Teens With Guns Can Be A Good Thing

The Winston-Salem Journal had a story today about a bunch of teens and near teens with guns. In fact, there were over 1,200 of them ranging in age from 12 to 18. And it was safe and controlled and educational and fun.

It was the District 7 Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament and featured 72 teams competing to be in the state tournament. Two teams get automatic bids and the remainder hope that their scores are high enough to win one of the 22 at-large spots in the 40 team state tournament. The event is sponsored by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and was held at the Hunting Creek Preserve in Harmony, NC.
To many, the district tournament may have come at a strange time — where the words “teens” and “guns” are inflammatory at best after the harrowing school shooting in Florida last month — but the teens who competed asserted that the tragedy does not define what they do.

“There will always be bad people who want to do bad things with guns, but that does not define us,” said Spencer Ballus, one of the 52 members of Reagan High School’s shooting team. “Everyone here has a good head on their shoulders. We are conscientious, responsible and put safety first.”
The teams competed in rifle, shotgun, archery, and orienteering with the cumulative score deciding the winners.
But the tournament is largely apolitical — completed for the love of competition and the camaraderie that comes with being on a team.

“I do it for fun because I like getting to compete with my friends,” said Walkertown student Brandon Carrier, 12. “I like rifle because it’s something I grew up doing with my dad.”

(Spencer) Ballus, a senior at Reagan, has been practicing for the tournament since December and said he fell into the sport as a freshman in search of his niche.

His specialty is rifle, where he has to hit a small target with a bull’s-eye the size of a dime.

The team practices from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday in a nearby Pfafftown farmer’s field, doing occasional farmwork in exchange for use of the land.

“I’d never really been into athletics, but I thought the team looked interesting,” Ballus said. “The camaraderie is the best part. It was the best decision I could’ve made.”
I think a parent of one of the competitors hit the nail on the head.
“If we taught more about guns, I think we’d have a lot less shootings,” said parent Tony Bryant, whose son Cole Abbott competes on the Reagan team. “Instead of just playing video games, this teaches the kids to respect guns. It’s a wonderful thing.”

H/T Nathan C.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Ludicrous Posturing

It is like little kids posturing on the school yard. One kid says something and the other kid says, "Yeah? Well, I did that and this too!" So it is with politicians and firearms especially if they have D after their name.

The latest extreme example of this comes from my home state of North Carolina. Rep. Rodney Moore (R-Mecklenburg) says he'll introduce a bill to raise the legal age to purchase a rifle to age 21.

Here is his rationale as reported by WRAL:
Rep. Rodney Moore said he didn’t need to look any further than the faces of the victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to know change was necessary.

“[They’re] very tragic examples of where we’ve become as a society in letting weapons of war be distributed on our streets,” Moore said.
 His bill would per the usual exempt law enforcement, firefighters, and members of the military.

You are probably saying, "So what! Lots of people have said they want to raise the age to 21."

Ah, but it gets better.
Penalties for using rifles to commit a crime in places like a school or public building would increase and the law would require a 90-day waiting period to purchase guns.

“We need to go through a thorough criminal background check. We need to do a mental evaluation and that is why we need the waiting period,” Moore said.
In a statement of extreme irony, Moore concludes by saying he supports the Second Amendment.
Moore said he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but does not feel his proposal violates anybody’s rights.

“What it is doing is enhancing the safety of that particular amendment,” he said. “When the Second Amendment was written into the Constitution, the founding fathers had no idea how technology, how weapons would change.”
 Raise the age to 21, add a 90-day waiting period, insist on a mental evaluation, AND say you are doing it to enhance the "safety" of the Second Amendment. In terms of political posturing that is going to be hard to beat.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Quote Of The Day

“Guns don’t have much legitimate purpose in cities outside of the hands of trained law enforcement,” Cook said. “I think many cities would want to reinstitute a blanket ban or licensing requirements on carrying in public.”
Philip Cook is the ITT/Terry Sanford Professor Emeritus of Public Policy Studies at Duke University. He is a well-known researcher in "gun violence" (sic) with a significant anti-gun bias. The quote above comes from Duke's student newspaper, The Chronicle, in which Cook was interviewed about past and proposed firearms-related legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly.

He advocated much tighter restrictions on concealed carry as well as doing away with state preemption so that cities like Durham where Duke is located could enact their own gun controls. As to enacting a ban on carrying in public, at least for open carrying, it would be an unconstitutional act. The North Carolina Supreme Court decided that in 1922 in the case of State v. Keener where the court ruled that open carrying was a constitutional right.

Another gem in this article deals with a total mischaracterization of why North Carolina has the pistol purchase permit wherein one must apply for a permit from their local sheriff to buy a handgun.
“That is relatively unusual, especially among Southern states,” said Cook, who researches gun control and crime prevention...

“The wisdom of the time [in 1919] was that rifles and shotguns are used for hunting and target shooting and other sports uses. Handguns are used against people,” Cook said. “And I think that remains true today.”
No, the wisdom of the time had nothing to do with handguns being used against people. The wisdom of the time was that blacks, union organizers, populists, and even Republicans had to be kept relatively disarmed. This was so that these people could not present a challenge to segregationist Democrats and their Klan allies. I have researched it extensively and have had many posts over the years on this subject. You can find some of them here, here, and here. I would note again that the co-sponsor of the 1919 bill was State Sen. Earle A. Humphrey (D-Goldsboro) who was the brother-in-law of ardent segregationist and Democrat party boss Furnifold Simmons.