The ACLU figures out that carrying a gun isn’t a Constitutional ‘right.’

1 Comment

So the ACLU has drawn a line in the sand and decided in the wake of Charlottesville that ‘Constitutional carry’ will no longer be a behavior for which they will provide a legal defense. Their Executive Director, Anthony Romero, told the Wall Street Journal that if a group wants to march around carrying guns that are visible to the public ‘they can find someone else.’

shield             Talk about a collision of Constitutional principles – freedom of speech on the one hand, freedom to walk around with a gun on the other. And while the NRA has been keeping its organizational mouth buttoned up tight since the Charlottesville attack, sooner or later they’ll come out with a statement about how average, law-abiding and gun-loving Americans have the right to defend themselves with their guns when faced with the threat of violence from all those left-wing thugs.

Despite mutterings to the contrary in some liberal circles who believe there’s an insurrectionist hiding under every bed, Dana Loesch (who is no friend of mine) did not explicitly or even implicitly call for a violent response to what she says is violent behavior on the part of the Left. And if anyone wants to take Wayne-o’s rants seriously about how all those gun-owning, God-loving Americans will grab their guns and ‘fight’ against the scourge of leftist gun-control, I invite you to attend the next NRA national meeting, the most popular booth is where they rent those little electric chairs for people who are too fat to walk around the show.

Our friend Robert Spitzer posted an interesting perspective on the citizen militia movement the other day. He went back to an 1886 case, Presser v. Illinois, in which the SCOTUS unequivocally stated that the government, not some band of overweight, camo-clad dopes has total control over using militias to protect or keep the peace. But the problem, as Spitzer and others have pointed out, is that most localities which allow ‘open carry,’ or what Gun-nut Nation calls ‘constitutional carry’ of firearms do not regulate where or when such displays of childish, arrested development can occur. So why not yell ‘f*ck you’ at a bunch of leftist creeps with my AR in full view?

There is a difference, and the difference has to do with one simple fact: the so-called Constitutional ‘right’ which all these armed jerks invariably cite to justify behaving like assholes doesn’t exist. The only Constitutional gun ‘right’ protected by the 2nd Amendment is the ‘right’ to keep a loaded handgun in your home. That’s what the 2008 Heller decision says, and that’s all it says – period.  End of story.

What I really love are the gun-dopes who claim that not only do they have a Constitutional ‘right’ to own a gun, but also have a ‘God-given right’ to use their gun for self-defense. These happen to be the same folks who insist that we are engaged in a full-scale war against Islamic extremists who want to impose Sharia law throughout the United States. Islamic extremists, leftist extremists, what’s the difference? It’s time we took out our guns and defended our Constitution against threats both at home and abroad.

Wait a minute. Now I’m completely confused. I thought our legal system is based on the Constitution, not the word of God.  Maybe the best thing would be to go home, put the gun back in the closet, sit down, turn on the television and pop another top.

Funny, but those shields being lugged around at Charlottesville seem very much like the shields that sell on eBay and have become popular because of Batman video games. Obviously an AR-15 is a much greater threat to safety and peaceable assembly than any movie prop. But the idea that there’s this citizen’s militia out there just waiting for the signal to rise up in revolt against the Deep State has about as much reality behind it as the idea that I’m going on a diet and this time I’ll really shed those 20 extra pounds.

 

 

Help Demetri Nash Get To DC

Leave a comment

Please click the GoFundMe link and help Demetri Nash.

nash

Play The Pool.

Leave a comment

civil2

I am starting a pool today and for $1 you can pick any date prior to 12/31/2017 that you believe (hope) will be the last day of the tenure of  the 45th President.  Just send $1 via Paypal to my account: info@waregunshop.com and mention the date in the comment field. 

 

If someone hits the correct date they get the whole pot. 

 

If multiple participants hit the correct date, they share the pot.

 

If nobody gets the correct date or if he is still President on 1/1/2018, I will donate the entire pot to the Children’s Defense Fund.

 

Please forward this notice to your family and friends.

When It Comes To Gun Training, The NRA’s No Longer The Only Game In Town.

2 Comments

For years the gun violence prevention (GVP) community has lamented the fact that they do not have the strength or the financial muscle to compete with the NRA. And even with Mayor Mike’s help, pardon the pun but too often people who want to see an end to gun violence find themselves organizationally outgunned. But all of a sudden the boys in Fairfax are finding themselves challenged by the growth of another pro-gun organization which looks at gun ownership from a very different point of view.

training             I’m referring to the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) which started out as nothing other than an internet sales gimmick known as ‘tribal marketing’ which generates revenue by attracting (and retaining) consumers to internet sites; the idea being that the longer someone remains connected to a website, the more crap they will purchase from that site. And the trick is to make your web visitors feel that they have some special identity or interest which sets them apart from everyone else. And if you can find a single group of Americans who feel more special than the people who actually believe that they need to carry a gun around, let me know.

Like every other pro-gun sales organization, the USCCA got started by attaching itself to the NRA.  They had a booth at the annual NRA show, they used slogans about concealed-carry that were right out of the Fairfax playbook, and their basic product, CCW insurance, also copied a long-time NRA tradition of offering its membership with financial services that would protect their guns.

But the one area in which the USCCA could not compete with the NRA was the area in which the NRA has always ruled supreme, namely, the training area. After all, the NRA was founded as a training organization, currently has more than 125,000 trainers certified and enrolled on its books, and has developed training courses which most states use as the required training curriculum either for getting a gun license or qualifying for LTC.

The degree to which the NRA has always held sway in gun training, however, is now being challenged by the USCCA. Not only does the USCCA hold an annual Concealed Carry Expo, whose exhibitor list contains the same lineup of gun and accessory companies which display their wares at the annual NRA show, but Tim Schmidt’s group was booted out of this year’s NRA show so that America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization’ could unveil their newest insurance product, a real scam deal known as Carry Guard, without having to compete with the USCCA.

Where the USCCA also appears to be placing itself directly in a competitive situation with the NRA, however, is over the issue of training, where Schmidt and his organization are developing a national training initiative which is an exact copy of the NRA’s training network, including a process for certifying trainers that the NRA has been using for years. Right now it appears that USCCA is running, at best, about 10% the number of training classes that the NRA runs each month, but they do have classes listed in more than 20 states which isn’t a bad start.

What I find most significant about the USCCA’s growth, however, is that it seems to be happening without the crazy drift into rhetorical looniness which now characterizes the public face of the NRA. No astoundingly stupid, insultingly ignorant rants from Dana Loesch, no conspiracy theories from Wayne-o which, by comparison make Alex Jones appear calm. The USCCA’s message about ‘protecting loved ones’ is nothing more than hype, but at least it’s hype which stays within the bounds of rhetorical decency and good taste.

The USCCA says its training program sets an ‘industry standard’ but the truth is there is no training ‘industry’ nor is there any accepted ‘standard’ for gun training at all. Because this would require that gun groups take the one step they are afraid to take, namely, to advocate required training for anyone who wants to walk around with a gun.

 

 

The NRA Tilts Loony Right Or Nobody Will Buy Guns.

2 Comments

I received an email yesterday from someone who read my Huffington column on the NRA and white supremacists and he wanted to know why the NRA leadership continues to tilt further and further not just to the Right, but to the loony Right. And a quick glance at the latest FBI-NICS background checks might contain an answer that both he and the gun violence prevention (GVP) community should consider with interest and care.

wayne             While obviously background checks can’t give totals for all transfers of guns, what they can give is an indication of the trend of new guns coming into the market each year. And when all is said and done, this is really the most important number which needs to be followed because there is simply no getting away from the fact that the more guns out there, the more people get hurt with guns. And please, please don’t send me an email telling me that it’s bot the gun, it’s the person holding the gun, okay?

Back in March, some gun-sellers were reporting that sales were still strong, others said sales were off – it was a mixed bag and nobody was sure which way the gun market would eventually go. But that was March and this is now August, and if this month turns out to be as lousy as last month, the fall-off in demand for guns may turn out to be much worse than even the most pessimistic analysts have projected to date.

For July 2016, the FBI-NICS phone bank racked up 1,143,824 calls covering gun transfers, including 628,725 handgun transfers, which from the perspective of gun violence is the most important category of all. Last month, July 2017, the total gun transfer number was 845,007, with handguns comprising 480,124 of the total calls. That’s a month-to-month drop of 26%, with handguns sales dropping slightly less by 24%.

Historically, July and August are always the slowest months in the gun business because despite the necessity to always have that gun around to protect yourself from thugs, terrorists and God knows what else, guns just can’t compete with the beach. Which is why a same-month comparison from one year to the next is a potent indicator of the overall health and outlook of the industry as a whole.

Let’s take a somewhat longer view.  From January 1, 2016 through July 31, 2016 the FBI rang up 4,712,334 calls for background checks on handguns; for the same period in 2017 the total was 4,257,132, a decline of roughly 10%. As for long guns, the slippage was also 10%, from 2,913,489 to 2,607,137. In the last two months, the drop in handguns sales year-to-year was nearly 20%.

If the more recent trends continue, the bloom is not only off the rose, the whole rose bush might be starting to dry up and wither away. Which means that not only will revenues within the gun industry collapse, but revenues for gun organizations like the NRA will also begin to decline.

The little secret which the NRA doesn’t want you to know is that for all their recent forays into television and video, the truth is that most people come into contact with America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization’ only when they walk into a place that sells guns. Ask yourself this question: ever seen an advertisement or logo for the NRA in the local convenience store, Walmart or CVS?

The problem for the NRA is simply this: in order to augment or even maintain their financial base the only thing that really works is to keep people buying guns. They can peddle concealed-carry insurance or holsters that fit inside bras or t-shirts which proclaim your 2nd-Amendment ‘rights,’ but nobody’s going to buy any of that crap unless they already own a gun. And how do you get more people to buy guns when no matter what you say, a gun simply doesn’t represent a necessary part of everyday existence like your car keys or your droid?

The Violence Policy Center Expands An Important Report.

4 Comments

Our friends at the Violence Policy Center (VPC) have been tracking gun violence committed by gun owners with concealed-carry permits (CCW) and you can view the data on a website that breaks down the numbers on a state-by-state basis since 2007. The information is informative but not definitive, for the simple reason that there is no requirement in any state which makes cops or coroners list whether a shooter was in possession of CCW or not. So we can assume that the 1,082 people who have been killed by CCW-holders in the last 10 years represents a rough estimate, at best, of the actual number of individuals whose lives ended at the hands of someone legally allowed to walk around with a gun.

VPC logo             It should be noted that 37% of the victims (400 of 1,082) of CCW-holders happened to have shot themselves to death, i.e., these were legally-armed individuals who killed themselves with their gun. The VPC has come in for its share of criticism for bunching suicides and homicides together, but the critics might take the trouble to look at the definition of violence used by the WHO, namely, an intentional attempt to injure oneself or someone else. And of course the fact that someone keeps a legally-owned gun in their home only increases the possibility of suicide, but since when did Gun-nut Nation ever care about risk?

The VPC is now expanding their study of CCW-holders who commit gun violence by posting weekly updates on events that highlight the risks posed by walking around with a gun. The first incident occurred in a small town outside of Sheboygan, WI, when two cousins got into an argument over money, one of them pulled out a gun for which he had a concealed-carry permit, got off 13 shots and two men ended up dead. The second incident took place in Allegheny County, PA, where two co-workers got into it during their night-time shift, went out into the parking lot to continue the argument, one pulled out his 9mm banger and that was the end of that.

The NRA is so convinced that we all should be walking around armed that they even have trademarked the phrase, ‘The Armed Citizen,’ and run a website inviting people to send them reports of armed citizens who used their guns to protect themselves and everyone else. Until recently, this website never captured more than 100 such events in any given year, but I notice that the monthly number of defensive gun use (DGU) now seems to be running about 25 per month, a much more aggressive listing process which I suspect is directly tied to the new concealed-carry insurance which the NRA is trying to peddle here and there.

Let’s say for sake of argument that armed citizens protect themselves or others from serious crime 500 times a year, or even 50,000 times. Recent research pegs the annual DGU number at somewhere around 70,000, but this number includes all the times in which the gun was brandished but not actually used.

On the other hand, the 20,000+ people who kill themselves each year with a gun don’t end their lives by waving the gun around. They use the gun very effectively because more than 80% of all gun suicide attempts end with a life being lost; no other kind of suicide attempt is successful more than 60% of the time.

I don’t believe the Violence Policy Center should be at all defensive about drawing attention to the fact that any time a life ends because someone pulled the trigger of a gun, that such an episode should be considered anything other than gun violence event. The fact that we do not possess an effective screening process for determining gun access based on someone’s propensity to hurt themselves doesn’t alter in any way the basic reason for owning a gun. And if you believe that guns were designed to do anything other than cause injury, you might want to camp outside Area 51 and wait for the Martians to land.

 

The NRA dodges a big bullet in Charlottesville.

2 Comments

Now that the President of the United States has finally discovered something known as racism, we can all sit back confident that the violence in Charlottesville will be addressed. But the folks breathing a deep sigh of relief aren’t the few remaining Establishment Republicans who giving Trump ‘one more chance.’ It’s our friends in Fairfax, a.k.a., the NRA. Anyone who believes there’s no connection between the resurgence of far-right activity and recent NRA messaging shares a brain with my mother-in-law, and she’s been in the cemetery for more than ten years. How has the NRA aligned itself with the alt-right, alt-white crowd? On the issue of terrorism, in particular terrorist violence within our own midst.

charAccording to what we know about this jerk James Fields so far, this 20-year old graduated high school, was briefly in the Army but washed out of basic training and sent home. If he had a job, it didn’t interfere with the time he needed to drive from Ohio to Charlottesville at some point before the attack occurred.

But what if instead of using his car to attack the crowd, our young white supremacist had pulled out a gun, let’s say a Glock like the type Jared Loughner used to shoot Gabby Giffords and nineteen others in Tucson or the AR-15 that Adam Lanza used to mow down 26 adults and school kids at Sandy Hook?  Trump or no Trump, I suspect the public reaction would have been intense because the death toll probably would have been much higher than just 32-year Heather Heyer who associates and friends described as being committed to equality and ‘very strong.’ I can just see Trump getting back up there and blustering about supporting 2nd Amendment ‘rights.’ Yea, right.

The NRA has been promoting the idea of armed citizens for a long time, but what was initially a strategy based on the idea of using a gun for protection against crime has now morphed into a more generic argument about the value of carrying a firearm in response to the threat of a terrorist attack. At the 2015 annual meeting, Wayne-o Lapierre told the faithful that ‘terror cells’ were operating in all major American cities and a major terrorist attack was soon going to take place. He’s recently honed the message a bit in order to take pot-shots at the continued resistance to his buddy Donald Trump; now Wayne-o claims the biggest threat is from something called the ‘leftist movement’ which is ‘angry, militant and willing to engage in criminal violence to get what they want.’

But it wasn’t a member of this militant antifa who committed the horrendous act of violence in Charlottesville, it was someone who identified with the alt-right, alt-white groups who are one hundred percent behind Trump’s efforts to make America great. In fact, a number of the neo-Nazis were wearing red MAGA hats during the Charlottesville march, no doubt they bought them for $2.26 (marked down from $3.33) on eBay, free shipping when you buy.

In his recent remarks about left-wing violence and terrorism that I quoted above, Wayne-o mentioned that ‘multiple police officers’ were hospitalized during the Inauguration because of injuries suffered at the hands of the left-wing mob. It turns out that all four officers were treated and released; two were hit by ‘something’ thrown from the crowd, a third was because he fell off his bicycle and the fourth because another cop sprated him with mace. Want to compare those injuries to what James Fields did with his car?

The last thing I would like to see is one of those white supremacists taking the NRA at its word and going out gunning after members of a ‘terrorist cell.’ But if Wayne-o keeps equating carrying a gun with patriotism and Trump-o keeps saying that patriots can make America great again, you have all the ingredients for someone to walk up to a crowd of demonstrators, pull out a cannon and bang away.

 

 

 

Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: