Should We Trust Government To Help Us Deal With Gun Violence?

If there is one issue, which more than any divides the two sides in the gun-violence debate, it’s the role that government should play in regulating guns. To pro-gun advocates, the government should basically stay out of the way allowing law-abiding men and women (with a minimal definition of law-abiding) to determine for themselves what to do about guns. To the gun violence prevention (GVP) movement on the other hand, aggressive and comprehensive government gun controls should be the order of the day.

liberal2             Want to carry a gun around for self-defense? The pro-gun gang says this is your unfettered ‘right,’ the gun-grabbers believe that only people who can show a specific and validated need for personal armed security should be able to walk around with a gun. Make background checks cover every transfer of a gun? There’s nothing about NICS in the Constitution argue the protectors of the 2nd-Amendment, whereas the liberals and the Bloomberg-loving crowd don’t understand how any ‘sensible’ person would object to government approval for every time a gun changes hands.

Behind this unyielding refusal to find common ground about how government should be involved in regulating guns is a much deeper division of opinion about the whole notion of government authority itself. Generally speaking, folks who don’t want government to interfere with their ownership of guns take a dim view of government interference in just about everything else. On the other side, activists promoting more government involvement in gun ownership tend to believe that government should play a large role in many social aspects of life. So basically, this division of opinion gets down to whether we should trust government or not.

What I find ironic about this division of liberal versus conservative opinion and government and about guns is that it used to be exactly the other way around.  I became politically active about civil rights in the early 1960’s, following the example of my older brother who went on several freedom rides in 1960 or 1961. My political activity then morphed into the anti-war movement (please don’t ask which war I’m talking about) with the highlight being my presence in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention of 1968.

I don’t remember a time when anyone who considered themselves to be a liberal thought the government was a force for good, and this attitude pervaded every stance which liberals took on political and social issues, even the issue of gun rights. The first major law review article that promoted the idea that the 2nd Amendment protected individual gun rights was written by Don Kates, a Yale Law School graduate who had been a civil rights worker in the South and spent nights on armed guard duty protecting black families threatened by the Klan. His work would be taken a step further by Sanford Levinson, an extremely liberal Constitutional scholar whose 1989 Yale Law Journal article, ‘The Embarrassing Second Amendment,’ basically opened the doors to the gradual tide of jurisprudence that culminated in the Heller decision of 2008.

Now we find ourselves, in the space of one generation, making a 180-degree shift with the Left manning the barricades to protect government institutions from assaults from the Right. Is there a single liberal influencer out there who hasn’t stepped up to defend the FBI? Isn’t this the same FBI that illegally tapped Martin Luther King because they knew he was just a dupe of the Reds?

Perhaps it’s my age, but regarding gun violence, I don’t feel personally comfortable placing my faith in effective government intervention while the other side gets seen as the protector of individual rights. Whether it’s gender rights, immigrant rights or any other kinds of rights up to and including gun rights, the last thing liberals should do is let the Breitbart, alt-white gang pretend they should be taken seriously or listened to at all.

When it comes to vesting the government with ultimate authority to protect us from gun violence, this is one liberal who agrees to disagree.

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Here Come The Plastic Guns.

The first gun I ever owned was a silver six-shooter made out of hard plastic which I carried around wherever I went.  I was six years old so I could more or less carry my gun just about anywhere except the first grade. A couple of years later I graduated to another plastic gun which shot ammunition we used to call ‘caps,’ but I abandoned this toy when I was 12 years old and bought my first real gun.

plastic gun1             From then until now, if you wanted to own a gun which shot real ammunition, some of the parts, particularly the barrel, had to be made out of steel. Until the 1980’s all the other parts of a gun were also made out of steel or some metal alloy except for the gun stock which, if the gun was a rifle or shotgun, might be made out of wood.

Thanks to a guy in Austria named Gaston Glock, we began substituting polymer for metal in the non-moving parts of the gun, particularly the frame. Polymer is actually a plastic material reinforced with metallic compounds which makes the finished product more resistant to wear and tear, and in the case of a gun also reduces the overall weight. Most handguns sold in the United States today are put together with a polymer frame; when Glock first started shipping his gun to the US, it was referred to as a ‘plastic’ gun.

Now for the first time we have the appearance of a gun which is almost totally made out of plastic, engineered and developed by a young entrepreneur out of Texas, Cody Wilson,  who has become something of an iconic personality in the community which believes that personal freedom and self-made guns are one and the same thing. Wilson owns a company, Defense Distributed, which made a plastic pistol and got into a spat with the U.S. Government by releasing instructions on the internet for how to take a 3D printer and use it to make a plastic gun.

Wilson promotes himself as an innovator but he’s much more than that. What he’s really doing is finding a clever marketing niche for a segment of the gun-owning population that really believes in the idea that an individual’s freedom can only be secured at the point of a gun.  Here’s the mission statement on Cody’s site: “The specific purposes for which this corporation is organized are: To defend the human and civil right to keep and bear arms as guaranteed by the United States Constitution and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court; to collaboratively produce, publish, and distribute to the public information and knowledge related to the digital manufacture of arms.” Notice which statement comes first.

Wilson announced the development of a plastic AR-15 right around the time that Adam Lanza took a real AR-15 into Sandy Hook Elementary School and began blasting away.  In a recent interview on NPR’s Planet Money he admitted that the Newtown massacre gave his company a significant boost, and while he mumbled something about the mass shooting in terms of the loss of life, he was much more positive about the need to develop self-manufacturing gun technologies in order to forestall the ability of the government to infringe on personal freedom by banning civilian-owned guns.

As the Planet Money interviewer discovered, give Wilson five minutes to shoot his mouth off and what you’ll get is the standard, neo-libertarian, neo-anarchist mishmash comprised of equal parts of Ayn Rand, Friedrich Hayek and maybe now Steve Bannon, all of which adds up to nothing more than childish, nonsensical crap. The same people who want to believe that a gun will protect you from government tyranny (particularly when the government is run by a Black liberal) are the same people who buy gold bars from the Glenn Beck show to protect themselves from the oncoming financial collapse.

Frankly, Cody Wilson and his crypto-anarchist friends are the least of our problems when it comes to dealing with the violence caused by guns.

 

Thanks To Shaun Dakin.

Let’s Hear It For Shannon Watts And All Those Moms!

This is the 1,000th column posted on this website and I can’t think of a better topic for this special space.   

The day after the Sandy Hook massacre, a stay-at-home mom and corporate media expert sat down at her kitchen table in Indianapolis and sent out a message on her Facebook page asking people to join a group that would begin promoting a ‘common sense’ message about guns. What Shannon Watts meant then and still means now when she talks about common sense is the idea that there is simply no reason why anyone, gun owner or otherwise, should find it difficult to accept the idea that guns should never be used to hurt yourself or anyone else.

moms2             Shannon’s Facebook page quickly became Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the purpose of this column is to give Shannon and her whole gang a loud shout-out for what they have accomplished over the last five years. And before any of the gun trolls who monitor my writing come back with the usual crap and nonsense about how Shannon would be ‘nothing’ without Bloomberg’s big bucks, what she and her organization have accomplished since 2012 goes far beyond anything having to do with the fact that Mike helps to foot the bill.

What makes Shannon’s effort so remarkable and so important is not because she agreed to merge her group with Bloomberg’s Everytown organization back in 2014. Money can certainly make life easier but if you don’t spend it in a way that brings results, it wouldn’t really matter how much dough comes. And it’s not as if there was really any precedent for building the kind of organization that Shannon has put together and now actively promotes its agenda in every one of the 50 states. When it comes to grass-roots messaging and organizational activity, until Shannon began her effort, the entire public discussion about guns beyond the Beltway was basically owned by my friends in Fairfax, a.k.a. the NRA.

Why shouldn’t the NRA be a formidable public relations machine for promoting guns?  After all, they have been around since right after the Civil War, which is longer than any other organization which promotes any kind of consumer item; hell, the American Automobile Association wasn’t founded until 1902. So when messages from Moms Demand Action began to appear on the internet and women with those red tee-shirts began parading around in front of Wal Mart and the local supermarket or Target stores, all of a sudden a two-sided playing field began to take shape.

A little more than five years since Shannon sat down and started blazing away, Moms now has chapters in all 50 states, and these groups aren’t just an email list or some other digital venue for talking back and forth.  Over the coming year, the organization will hold hundreds of public events, and if you want to get an idea of what they did on 2017, you can download and read a very impressive report right here.

Giving Moms a big high-five is not meant in any way to slight the efforts of other gun violence prevention (GVP) groups; I’m always willing and able to help spread the word whenever some folks get together to promote common-sense strategies about guns. But what makes Shannon’s effort so important is her understanding that with all due respect to the importance of laws, public policies and all the rest, making a real difference in terms of gun violence is a cultural issue above all. Forget all the data, all the studies, all the facts, people make up or change their minds when they talk about something to someone else.

Next time you go past a public space where some women are wearing those Moms Demand Action shirts, stop for a moment and notice how they engage other folks who just happen to be walking by. A brief conversation here, a comment or two there, funny how those conversations add up and help pave the way for needed change.

And let’s not forget that with all due respect to Mike and his gezillions, Shannon and the ladies could always use some spare change.

A Gun Safety Device Which Really Works.

Now that school shootings appear to be happening on a day-to-day basis, we seem to be a lot more concerned about figuring out our real estate tax bill than about keeping our schoolchildren safe, but there is a new company out there which has come out with what appears to be a gun-safety device which really works.  The company is called Simtek, it’s the brainchild of an engineer named Brady Simpson, and they are launching a product, Duo, which is designed to prevent shootings by telling a gun owner if and when someone else gets their hands on one of his guns.

duo             Basically the device is a sensor that detects the movement of any piece of equipment in the space where the sensor is deployed – a file cabinet, desk drawer, gun safe – and then sends an instant text alert to the individual who now knows that a secure space has been breached. Motion detectors are hardly a new technology, but combining the detector with a digital messaging system represents a significant step forward in terms of alerting someone to the possibility that a gun might be grabbed by the wrong hands.

When I say ‘wrong hands,’ I’m talking about the hands connected to the bodies of kids. Anyone who believes that a gun in the home doesn’t represent a risk if there are children in the home doesn’t know anything about guns or kids. With all due respect to the gun industry which has been promoting safety programs aimed at children for God knows how long, telling kids not to touch a gun is an absolute guarantee that the kids will, if anything, get more interested in picking up the gun.

Not only are children unable to understand the notion of risk, they are also naturally inquisitive and instinctively try to discover anything and everything hidden around the house. Want to read an eye-opening study about how kids behave around guns? Try this study, which found that four out of ten gun-owning adults believed their guns were successfully hidden away and didn’t know that the kids had found the location of the guns. And the idea that children can be taught to ‘respect’ a gun is about as stupid and self-deceiving as the idea that I can eat every potato chip in sight and still lose weight.

The company has posted a clever video on Youtube which shows a young child finding the combination to a gun safe and then opening the door but Dad got the alert and arrives in the nick of time. Obviously what Simtek is trying to promote is the idea that the Duo device will provide an extra level of protection even for those gun-owning parents who have already taken precautions to keep the kids away from guns. But the truth is that for every family that locks up or locks away their guns, there’s at least one other home where guns are lying around unsecured.

What I really like about this product is its portability; in other words, if the gun is going to be transported from one place to another in a suitcase, an attache case or some other carry-all device, you can easily stick the Duo inside the same case and then get an alert if someone opens the rucksack or handbag and now has access to the gun. There have been recent media stories linking the increase in concealed-carry to a significant uptick in the number of stolen guns. These thefts don’t take place inside the home; they occur when the gun is taken away from the residence by the lawful owner who then forgets and leaves it lying around.

The good news is that Simtek has tested and certified their Duo device. The not-so-good news is they need to raise a little more dough to get the product into production and out the factory door. Pre-order a device (it’s not very expensive) and give this new company a quick start. Duo is a smart idea.

Gun-nut Nation Gets Kicked In The Ass By Its Favorite Federal Court

If the Gun-nut community wanted a judicial decision about gun rights in their favor, they couldn’t have gone anywhere more likely to help them out than the 5th Circuit, which oversees the federal judiciary in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana and is considered to be the most conservative Circuit Court in the United States. Not only was a gun case argued in front of this court, but the case had already been decided at the district level in favor of gun rights, it was now being appealed by the Department of Justice run by you-know-who, and all three judges who heard the case were appointed by either George H. W. Bush or his son.

constitution             The court not only decided against the gun-rights gang, they dashed the hopes of the gun-loving contingent to get rid of one of the legal issues which pisses off gun nuts more than just about anything else, namely, the prohibition against going across a state line to buy a gun. Actually, the prohibition against buying a pistol or revolver in a state other than where you live has been on the books since 1939, when the feds first required individuals engaged in the ‘business’ of selling guns to purchase a federal firearms license and keep records of their sales. The reason that inter-state handgun purchases required a transfer between dealers was because it was recognized that allowing handguns to be moved across state lines without any form of regulation made it easier for criminals to get their hands on guns.

What gun-rights advocates are claiming, however, is that the prohibition against buying a handgun in a state other than where someone resides is no longer necessary because every purchase from a gun dealer, no matter where he is located, requires a background check. Which means that if I had been convicted of a felony in my home state, the felony and the consequent prohibition on gun ownership would come up no matter where I tried to purchase a gun. In 2015 two gun-rights activists decided to test this law by going to Texas and attempting to buy a handgun. After the purchase was denied, they found a district court judge who decided that their 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ had been violated; hence, the appeal and decision by the 5th Circuit, effectively standing the district court’s ruling on its head.

Not only did the 5th Circuit reaffirm the prohibition against non-resident handgun purchases, it went further and actually used one of Gun-nut Nation’s most cherished legal principles – strict scrutiny – to find the prohibition constitutionally sound. According to judicial rules, for a law to pass strict scrutiny muster it must be shown that the particular law is justified by a ‘compelling government interest,’ and must be written specifically to ‘serve that interest.’ Lawyers for Gun-nut Nation have frequently used the strict scrutiny argument to attack gun regulations (e.g., New York’s SAFE law’s regulation limiting gun magazines to 7 rounds or less) and they no doubt hoped to do the same thing here.

The 5th Circuit reviewed the discussions leading up to GCA68 which codified the inter-state prohibition and concluded that Congress decided there was every good reason to maintain and strengthen the prohibition because otherwise it would be easy for someone to circumvent the laws and regulations of their home state and hence increase the possibility that an out-of-state purchase would result in a crime gun. The opinion points out that a dealer in one state cannot possibly know the gun regulations which exist in other states (e.g., some states require 10-shot magazine capacities, other states do not) and such knowledge has nothing to do with whether a potential buyer can pass a background check.

The decision by the 5th Circuit is clear on one basic point: the government has a compelling interest to safeguard public safety and a gun even in the hands of a legally-qualified individual could still be a risk. This decision by a conservative court is both a victory for the gun-control movement and a victory for common sense.

As For The Mandalay Bay Shooting, What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas.

So the mountain moved (to paraphrase Phaedrus) and out came a mouse in the form of an 81-page report from the Las Vegas Police Department covering the events of October 1, 2017 when Steve Paddock barricaded himself in a hotel room and set a new American record for the number of people killed and wounded in a rampage shooting event. You can download the report here but save yourself the trouble because there’s really nothing we didn’t know about the how’s and the why’s of this horrific 20-minute shooting spree that we didn’t know within a couple of days after the volleys that poured from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel came to an end.

LV2             Paddock did what just about all rampage shooters do in the months and weeks leading up to the event. He stockpiled lots of guns and lots of ammunition, he knew the venue well, he behaved in a normal way to the point that even his live-in girlfriend claimed that nothing appeared to be amiss, and he made a point of not telling anyone about his specific plan. These four elements – building an arsenal, scouting out the terrain, acting just like everyone else, not divulging the specific plan – was exactly what happened at Virginia Tech, Aurora, Isla Vista, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Sandy Hook and just about everywhere else where a rampage shooting has occurred since 1966 when Charlie Whitman took a bunch of guns up to the top of the University of Texas Tower and began blasting away.

Paddock also shared one more feature with most, but not every rampage shooter, namely, that when the blasting away ended, so did his own life. Which creates an immediate problem in terms of figuring out why rampage shooters commit rampages, because few of them are around who can then tell everyone why they did what they did. But for the several shooters who have survived their own rampages – James Holmes in Aurora, Anders Breivik in Norway – it appears they simply want to become notorious and well-known and choose this particular type of behavior to gain notoriety, even if they spend the rest of their lives in environments which don’t give them much opportunity to cash in on their new-found fame.

One other issue with rampage shooters that remains completely beyond any understanding at all. The fact that they devote serious time to developing a game plan, stocking up with weapons, casing out the venue, and so on and so on, doesn’t reveal the ‘trigger’ event or moment which makes them decide their plan is now good to go. Paddock evidently wanted to blast away at a large crowd attending a public event, but his computer searches indicate that Vegas was one of a number of such events which might have provided him with the scenario he would use. Deciding that you want to plan a rampage shooting is simply not the same thing as carrying it out. The shooter at Sandy Hook was on his computer studying other shooting rampages for months before he drove over to the elementary school at Sandy Hook. How come he chose that particular day?

One thing the Las Vegas timeline reveals is that it took the cops close to 75 minutes to get to the room where Paddock was located and breach the door. First responders on the ground began helping victims almost immediately. How come it took so long to get into where the actual shooting was taking place?  And by the way, we still haven’t learned how a member of the team that first entered Paddock’s room took personal pics of the crime scene, including a dead shooter, which then showed up on various internet sites. The chief, Joseph Lombardo, promised a thorough investigation of what can only be described as a complete contamination of the crime scene. A thorough investigation. Yea, right.

Know the old saying, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas? As far as figuring what happened on October 1st, 2017, that saying is still ringing true.

A New And Different Book On The 2nd Amendment.

I hereby issue an invitation to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, a radical activist and author who has just published a book about guns: Loaded – A Disarming History of the 2nd Amendment – to attend my gun safety course that is required in my state – Massachusetts – before someone can apply for a license to own or carry a gun. The reason I want Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz to visit my gun class is I think she might gain some fundamental correctives about why some but not all Americans are so invested in the ownership and use of guns.

loaded             The author’s thesis is that today’s gun culture grows out of an amalgam of racist ideologies and practices which justified gun ownership as a necessary adjunct to the settlement and exploitation of the wilderness with the consequent destruction of Native American communities, followed by the subjugation of the few surviving indigenous peoples as well as African-American slaves. Since this process could only be accomplished by armed force, the 2nd Amendment was inserted into the Constitution to give legal sanction for the emergence of a nation state ruled by white men. I think that’s what she’s trying to say.

The reason I would like Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz to come to my class is because she will spend some time with some folks who may decide to purchase and own a gun after they finish my safety course, which means going to the local police department, getting photographed and fingerprinted and having their backgrounds checked. Is there the slightest possibility that a single person in this class gives one rat’s damn about how the Wampanoag Indians got chased out of the Bay Colony in 1676 by a bunch of white men who wanted more land? That may sound like a pretty heartless thing to say, but such thoughts are the furthest from anyone’s mind.

Ms. Dunbar-Ortiz would like us to believe that current-day gun ‘culture’ isn’t just a figment of the gun industry’s fertile imagination to create the idea that guns are necessary to protect us from real or imagined harm.  In that respect she critiques the study by Pamela Haag (The Gunning of America) of how Winchester marketed its products noting that this work too narrowly construes the importance of the 2nd Amendment in justifying the conquest of Native American lands long before the Winchester Repeating Rifle helped ‘win’ the West. What Dunbar-Ortiz ignores is the fact that the tool which wiped out Native American society wasn’t the gun, it was the plow. Hence, the decision by Winchester to concoct a marketing scheme.

I am sure the students in my gun safety classes would respond politely to Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s attempt to make the 2nd Amendment the deus ex machina for everything and anything having to do with guns. I also suspect they wouldn’t really understand anything she says. Because the truth is that folks who decide they need a gun to defend themselves aren’t going to spend one second thinking about whether the gun they buy and the Constitutional statute which protects that purchase has any historical or cultural meaning at all. They are going to buy a gun because they believe in some fashion or another that having a gun will protect them from crime.

I support gun ownership but I don’t support the idea that anyone should walk around armed just because they think it’s the thing to do. They need lots of training and they need to meet a government-mandated proficiency standard before they can walk around carrying a gun. And none of those requirements in any way limit or threaten so-called 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

I only wish that someone as experienced and knowledgeable as Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz had written about the 2nd Amendment in a manner that would make her book accurate and relevant when it comes to the issues of safe gun use that gun-control advocates deal with every day.

As for the final sentence of her book about ‘you’ll never have justice on stolen land.’ How profound.

Contributing Editor Josh Montgomery – 5 BEST AIR RIFLE SCOPES – WHICH ONE SHOULD YOU GET?

scope

Mike the Gun Guy Magazine welcomes Josh Montgomery, founder and writer for Minute Man Review, a really great 2nd Amendment and gun blog which contains a diversified list of articles, all written in a solid and informative style.

I like the idea of not just posting whole columns, but linking to work that our Contributing Editors published somewhere else.  Here’s the link to Josh’s fine piece.

Contributing Editor Ashley Johnson: The 10 Commandments of Gun Safety

Firearms are savage, and need all the care in the world. Being a slouch is no option while holding one in your hands, because the trigger can’t be trusted. As fascinating a firearm might look, it isn’t meant to tote around like a toy and must be stacked really safely. Even if you’ve a knack for guns, you shouldn’t feel too comfortable while handling them, because a moment of negligence or slacking off can cost you dearly.

Before a gun does a loss or an irreparable damage to you, it’s time for you to learn the 10 commandments to firearm safety and dodge the bullet. If you’ve a gun and want to improve the way you handle it, drop everything you’re doing and read this post NOW.

ten commandments

1. Be Wary of Gun’s Muzzle

Nothing’s certain with a gun unless it happens. As a rule of thumb, don’t ever point the muzzle at anything, which isn’t your target, even when it’s unloaded. Better yet, make it a habit of pointing the muzzle in safe directions while loading/unloading the gun. Get this rule etched in your mind, because most of the gun accidents involve an owner being lax to which direction the muzzle is pointing it, and the gun discipline in general.

2. See What’s Your Target and Beyond It

Once a bullet shoots off, it can go here, there, anywhere. It’s on the prowl to seek its target, and any semblance of control is rightly eliminated when it strikes off something which isn’t the target at first place. Plus, it isn’t just about right targeting, but also about being mindful of what surface you’re aiming your fire at. Since bullets can ricochet off certain surfaces, like trees, rocks and metal, and pose an elaborate risk to the people nearby, you should be double sure before firing.

3. Unload when not in Use

There is nothing worse than an accidental fatality. Though it is understandable that one should always be on guard with respect to safety and security, it is recommended that firearms should always be unloaded when not in use.  Whether you are camping, practicing targets or any other activity, the firearm should be unloaded completely, including the removal of any ammunition in the chamber or in the magazine. Additionally, ensure that your gun is kept well out of your loved ones’ reach even when it’s securely unloaded. Remember that safe storage is as important as safe upkeep of the firearm.

4. Always Keep Your Finger Off the Trigger

It is kind of a given fact that since the trigger holds the ultimate power of the gun, it is essential that you don’t regulate this responsibility carelessly. Unless absolutely necessary, ensure that your finger stays away from the trigger and the muzzle is always facing upwards. This guideline comes in without a rule book and should be more of an instinct than a guideline. While the movies have spoilt us for good with our thirst for enacting that perfect shootout scene, it is essential to remember that reel life is very different from the real life where there is no coming back from the fatal consequences.

5. Don’t Solely Rely on the Firearm ‘Safety’ Mechanism

Though the safety mechanism has been given to ensure that you don’t pull the trigger in a reckless manner, yet your gun cannot be solely responsible for preventing any mishap. As a firearm bearer and user, it’s your responsibility to ensure that the safety mechanism is complied with. Treat your gun like a machine that it is and not a human that understands the viability of safety and security. It’s prone to failures like any other. For instance, while travelling, carrying your gun rashly or fiddling with it can disengage it, and requires you to keep a constant check on how your firearm is behaving. Be wary of not pulling the trigger and keep your fingers away while loading/unloading the gun(gun safe).

6. Handle your Gun with Care When It Fails to Fire

There are many instances when your gun might fail you and not shoot as required. At this point, keep your ammunition at a safe distance and direct it right. Keep the muzzle away from your face, put it down carefully, engage the safety position and while keeping your fingers far away from the trigger, gently release the cartridge safely. Always remember that this is a sensitive situation and though your ammunition failed to fire on time, it holds equal chances in discharging at any point later. Thereby, it’s essential to be vigilant and stay safe.

7. Use Proper Ammunition

Every gun is different. Failure to understand this essentiality of firearms can lead to fatal consequences. Every ammunition is designed keeping in mind the specific calibre, distance and gauge. Slight lethargy with respect to handling and the nature of the gun can lead to hazardous and dangerous conclusions. Therefore, it’s advised to buy the best suited ammunition from a reputed manufacturer. Or else, you’ll be put under the liability of breach of safety and security.

8. Always Wear the Proper Protection Gear

While handling ammunition, it goes without saying that self protection is one of the key commandments that you HAVE to adhere to before delving into showing your blazing skills. With the right protective gear, especially for the eyes and ears, you protect yourself from the reactive elements, gun reactions, bullet shells and elements of the unfavorable surroundings. Moreover, with these gears, you are in the position to take snap decisions without endangering the lives of people around you.

9. Learn the Mechanical and Handling Characteristics of Ammunition You’re using

Before one starts using the firearm at hand, it’s necessary to understand the dimensions and design of the potentially lethal object. No one should be given the responsibility to handling a firearm without having an end to end idea of its working, structure, mechanical provisions and characteristics that make it unique to the user as well as the situation. With the correct and complete knowledge, the user gets the opportunity to leverage the situation to his/her advantage without jeopardizing the sensitivity of the environment, or the lives of people around him.

10. Don’t Alter or Modify Your Gun and Have it Serviced Regularly

Your gun has been designed in a specific manner. With special designs and layout, it’s mandatory for you to blend your usage with the design of the ammunition at hand. Like any other mechanical substance, your gun is subject to wear and tear, and it’s your duty to focus on its upkeep. Ensure that the barrel, trigger and the outer body stay clear of any obstruction, giving you an easy access during any emergency. In case of a long time storage or an exposure to unfavourable weather, ensure that your gun undergoes an end-to-end cleanup.

You may be well into basics, but still, situational errors are a thing and we request you to make quick amends to how you’re dealing with gun if you’ve been doing it all wrong so far. In this guide, we’ve covered almost the entire cache of safekeeping your guns. If you’ve anything to include, write it down to us in the comments below.

 

 

 

Want To Know What Happened In Vegas? We Still Don’t Know.

After the Sandy Hook massacre, initial media statements were confused and often contradictory to the point that online conspiracy hawkers like Alex Jones had a field day ‘proving’ that the assault never took place. Now that more than three months have passed since the Las Vegas shooting and the unanswered questions continue to pile up, I’m surprised that we haven’t yet seen a new wave of conspiracy explanations to explain how and why the ‘real’ events on October 1st actually occurred.

LV2             Last week the FBI unsealed 448 pages of documents covering more than 20 searches conducted to figure out a possible motive for what Steve Paddock did. Given the fact that the hotel space he occupied was a crime scene and that he lived in one residence located in the town of Mesquite, why were so many warrants drawn up by the FBI? Because nowadays if you want to figure out anything about anyone, start by looking through the computer and/or the droid, then check out every online shopping and messaging account. And if you want to see if someone posted on Facebook, or Instagram, or bought something from Amazon, each of these venues requires a separate search.

What the newly-released documents in this case don’t tell us is anything beyond what we already knew. Paddock didn’t have a Facebook page; his emails were often sent to himself; he purchased a few items from Amazon, and that’s about it.  Between his house and the hotel room at Mandalay Bay he evidently owned more than 30 weapons, along with a large stash of ammunition, various tools, body armor and other crap. He also banked online like everyone else.

What law enforcement now knows about Paddock’s behavior and motives is more or less what they knew before they went through all this legal rigmarole to gain access to the shooter’s private life.  Or to put it differently, I read through the entire 488 pages released by the District Court, and I didn’t learn anything beyond what I knew within one day after the Las Vegas shooting took place – the guy took a bunch of legally-owned guns into a hotel room and began blasting away.

But leave it to our friends in law enforcement to use this documentary pile to develop some totally-unverified theories about what Paddock did and why, and then leave it to the media to take those theories and embellish them further. Then leave it to journalists who concentrate on gun news to embellish this ‘fake news’ a little more.

Today’s daily newsletter from our friends at The Trace contains this interesting comment about the Las Vegas document release:

According to investigators, the perpetrator intentionally sought to thwart their efforts, in part by buying many of his dozens of firearms online.  Private dealers who peddle guns over the internet are not required to run background checks on buyers, nor maintain the paper trail that ATF agents follow when linking crime weapons to licensed sellers.

 

This comment links to a story in a Las Vegas paper which claims the guns came from “internet retailers,” a statement linked back to an FBI ‘spokesman’ who said that Paddock’s ‘methodical planning’ was making it more difficult for law enforcement to figure everything out.

So The Trace refers to ‘private dealers’ but the media story says that Paddock purchased his weapons from ‘online retailers,’ which if that’s the case, none of those gun purchases would have been hidden from view. It may still come as a shock to some of my friends in the gun violence prevention (GVP) community, but buying guns on the internet and keeping such transfers immune from a background check may or may not have any connection at all.

Back on October 5th and again on October 12th and a third time on October 26th I wrote columns arguing that we didn’t know much, if anything, about what happened on October 1st. Don’t hold your breath.