Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Firearms sales and politics...

We recently had a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA and the POTUS almost immediately called for gun control despite the fact that the attackers and their supporters had broken many laws (aside from murder) concerning the firearms to use those firearms, laws that already existed and which they ignored. What good would it do to have more laws that they would ignore?

Meanwhile, it is estimated that Americans commit 3 felonies each and every day, mostly in complete ignorance, because we have criminalized so much behavior. Just how does that help anyone? Does it make us safer? Healthier?

Recently, the Governor of Virginia, in an apparent bid to repay favors given him in his run for the governorship, issued an executive order to "ban" firearms from state offices including rest stops. That this "ban" is unenforceable or that for the time being the only charge could be trespassing, matters not one bit. Only the law abiding will be affected. Then the Attorney General for Virginia unilaterally decided to negate concealed handgun permit reciprocity with 30 other states. In one act he abrogated the rights of citizens of those 30 states as well as Virginians who acquired their Concealed Handgun Permits with the understanding that there would be reciprocity. Again, this affects only law-abiding citizens who have passed background checks to purchase and again to carry concealed those firearms. Meanwhile, criminals are under no restraints. How does this actually help anyone other than the criminal?

The truth is that gun control is an act of political control. Control over one's personal security is the ultimate act of control. So what happened as a result of each of these acts?

Sales of firearms. After each act there was an increase in sales in excess of what we would expect given the holiday season. Sales weren't just to rednecks, they weren't just to hobbyists, they weren't just to activists, those sales were to men and women and couples (of all kinds) who had never owned a gun, have never before carried concealed (but were signing up in droves for the required classes), and who were absolutely opposed to these restrictions. It was reported that on "black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving, over 187,000 firearms were sold. Based on this year's trends 40%+ or about 75,000 of those firearms went to first time buyers. Based on what I've seen these new buyers are not the politically disconnected or inactive, these are voters.

Friday, December 04, 2015

The world as it is, not as we wish it to be...

Things have changed. Compared to what we have today even the Vietnam War period seems idyllic. For the first time since the submarine attacks directly off our shores in WWII we are being attacked by our enemies. They are few in numbers but great in their effect. This state of affairs will not change in the foreseeable future. Some politicians (let's face it, politicians see themselves as separate from the rest of us) are willing to allow us to defend ourselves others are not but nearly all of this class are attempting to find personal advantage in our collective disadvantage. We can not permit this nor can we permit ourselves to be disarmed at home or at work. We need to work with our friends, neighbors, co-workers, customers, service providers, and community officials. We need to be prepared for the worst.

As I began to write this we were hearing of yet another "mass shooting" this time in San Bernardino, CA. Due to the modi operandi we expected one sort of perpetrator but we got another. The norm has changed yet again. A successful man of mid-eastern descent who made $70K+ working for the government, was married and had a 6-month old child apparently also had a bombs in his home and was assisted by his wife in the attack. They were both killed. CAIR immediately trotted out his brother-in-law to say that Islam was a religion of peace and the perp would never have done this and that he just can't understand... Interestingly, the argument he supposedly had with a co-worker was about Islam being a religion of peace (or not). Doesn't anyone else see the irony in this?

The reporting has generally been abysmal with most reporters rushing to push their agenda on the subject of "mass shootings" by attributing the shooting to various groups, blaming a lack of gun control (in California of all places), and being absolutely clueless about any of the applicable terminology. If I were their professor in journalism school judging this as a class assignment they'd have all gotten an "F".

Let's look at what we do know about certain technical aspects that might contain teaching points.
- While they apparently purchased the AR-15s they used in the attack legally, they illegally removed the "bullet button" and illegally possessed magazines with a greater than 10-round capacity.
- They were illegally making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in their home with neighbors on either side of them.
- They tried to deploy one of those devices at the attack site and it did not work.
- They booby-trapped their home but we do not know whether or not those devices were set up correctly.
- They did not try to flee (although it was supposed that they had successfully done so).
- They had body armor (or not, perhaps only tactical load bearing vests).
- They had a reported 2500 rounds of .223 ammunition and 2000 rounds of 9mm ammunition as well as some .22 Long rifle.
- They had GoPro cameras to record their attack.