Saturday, October 10, 2015


Related to my previous post: Gun sale regulations stir debate | News - Home

I hadn't actually seen any of the proposed Executive Actions that His Imperial Majesty Barack Hussein Obama I was contemplating using to bypass Congress in order to punich law-abiding gun owners, until reading this article:
{Eric} Friday {Lead Counsel for Florida Carry} is critical of one of the president's potential actions to force gun sellers who sell a small number of guns each year to do background checks for anyone who purchases from them. This would include people who buy and sell guns occasionally as part of a collection.
So, if I decide I want to get rid of a gun I never shoot, I have to run a background check. Or, maybe, I'm OK selling on gun, but not two. Or four. Or some other arbitrary number. Because the vast majority of the limits proposed as part of gun control schemes that involve a quantitative limit are purely arbitrary, a number of rounds or inches or transactions pulled out of someone's fourth point of contact having nothing to do with reality.

Time Magazine (are they still a thing?) has an article with further detail on the topic:
Among the options being reviewed is a proposal to redefine who is considered a licensed gun dealer, which would also change requirements for conducting gun background checks. According to NBC News, under the proposed executive action anyone who sells 50 to 100 guns every year would be considered “in the business” of selling guns and have to adhere to laws that apply to gun dealers such as conducting background checks on buyers.
The action would reportedly not apply to people who occasionally sell, exchange, or purchase guns for their personal collection or anyone who sells off all or parts of their personal firearm collection.
So, 50 to 100 is a lot more reasonable than one or two or five, but as the NBC article linked to observes
(the administration has) not formally settled on a number.

"This is a super-complicated policy," said one administration official who was familiar with the idea.
How, exactly, do they intend to declare by regulatory fiat that "You are now an FFL"? If the threshold is 50 guns, is there a knock on the door and a guy in a suit saying "Mr. Drang, our records indicate that you have sold 51 guns, you have one week to submit the paperwork to get licensed as an FFL"?

Because, absent an FFL, there is no mechanism in place for me to do a background check, so are they going to establish a statuary requirement for FFLs to perform background checks as a service for the general public? What kind of record-keeping burden will there be? Or are they going to substantially remake NICS? Will they require me to go through my FLGS if I decide to sell my deer rifle to a co-worker?

And how do they intend to enforce such a requirement?

And how does Obama expect to avoid impeachment for going this far in his end run around Congress, once Boehner and McConnell are out?

"Panic At The Gunstore", a forum post

This was linked to at Pistol Forums. It's quite good, well worth the time to read it.*

Panic at the Gunstore--The How, When, and Why of Gun Panics - SigForums

There are a few nuggets of wisdom in there that are worthy of quoting, but first, it must be noted that the point of this article is gun-buying panics, not "imminent gun bans/control/regulations."

Nugget #1:
The bottom line is, if you are a hobbyist, buy what you want now. Once you have it, it’s very difficult for civil authorities to take it away simply by declaring it illegal. Folks always fear door-to-door confiscation, but that would be difficult on a state-level, even more so on a national scale. Gun Control is the death of liberty by a thousand cuts. And those who oppose freedom have time to play the long game if their legislation moves progressively in the direction they want it to, which, historically, they have every reason to believe is true.
If you have your AR lower, lower parts kit, "evil features", standard capacity magazines, etc. today, even they are banned tomorrow, chances are good that they will be grandfathered. No guarantees, of course, as Mark Twain recognized ("No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.")

Speaking of magazines, PMAGs are fairly inexpensive, but the price appreciated 300% or more after Sandy Hook. I think I'll buy an assortment new, in-wrapper, and keep them around for trade material...

On ammunition:
I have a general rule when observing panics: Watch .223/5.56. If you get to the store and you can’t find .223/5.56, then buy 9mm. If you can’t buy .223/5.56 or 9mm, then buy .22lr. If you can’t buy either of those three, you’re too late.
His discussion of ammunition includes a look at .22 Long Rifle that is very succinct;
Ok, so what about .22LR? .22LR is actually a really interesting case of fixed supply/increasing demand. This tiny cartridge is really the perfect storm. As I’ve told customers: “There are many rounds that can kill a man, but there’s only one that can make him sit up and beg—the mighty .22LR!” Let’s look at the supply side of .22LR:

1) .22LR is the least profitable per round cartridge to manufacture. And while we as consumers may be paying more per round than we ever have, that does not mean that manufactures like Federal, CCI, (actually both are owned by ATK), or Remington are making more money per round.

2) The machines that make .22LR cannot make any other cartridge.

If you don’t make a lot of money per round, and you can’t use that machine to make rounds that are more profitable, that really puts the damper on expansion plans for .22LR production. I haven’t been able to confirm that the machines that make .22LR are more expensive to set up than centerfire ammunition machines, but I suspect this to be the case due to the specialized nature of .22LR manufacturing.
IOW, while the shortage of .22 is partly due to people stocking up, the production lines are running at capacity, and consumption is up because more and more folks are shooting .22 versions of their standard pistol, or using a sub-caliber adapter, as a substitute for the larger, more expensive, calibers. My Friendly Local Gun Store & Range uses .22s almost exclusively in their Beginner/Basic/Introductory shooting classes, which is an excellent idea. (During the post-Sandy Hook panic, they had a plentiful supply of .22 LR, and would estimate the needs for classes and training, and break out the excess and sell it over the counter for a decent price.)

With the inherent inability of Some People to avoid the blood dance, and others' desire to Do Something, no matter how pointless, these may (unfortunately) be some good pointers to keep in mind in the coming weeks and months.

*And could serve as testimony that brand-specific gun fora are not simply and exclusively filled with unthinking fanbois...

HR2246 and S1351, Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act

While writing the previous post, I also saw these;

Official Summary

Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act Amends the federal criminal code to:
(1) allow licensed firearms importers, manufacturers, dealers, or collectors (licensees) to sell or deliver any firearm (currently, rifles or shotguns) to a resident of a state other than the state in which the licensee is located or temporarily located if the licensee meets with the purchaser to complete the sale or delivery and the transaction complies with the laws of the state in which the transfer is conducted and the purchaser's state of residence; and
(2) eliminate the requirement that a licensee must conduct business at a gun show only in the state that is specified on the licensee's license. Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to prohibit the sale or other disposition of a firearm or ammunition:
(1) between licensed firearms dealers at any location in any state; or
(2) by a licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to an unlicensed person at a temporary location in any state. Amends definitions for federal firearms provisions to:
(1) revise the definition of a \"member of the Armed Forces on active duty\" to include a member (or member's spouse) who is a resident of the state in which such person maintains legal residence or in which the member maintains a place of abode from which the member commutes each day to the permanent duty station; and
(2) provide that an officer or employee of the United States (other than a member of the Armed Forces) stationed outside the United States for a period exceeding one year, or a spouse residing with such an officer or employee, is a resident of the state in which the person maintains legal residence.

The Official Summary is the same for both; typography is also the same. (I think there should be a couple of line breaks in there, that are missing.)

If I read this correctly, if you can pass a NICS check, then you'd be able to buy a gun in any state you visit.

I don't know how they'd handle the fact that some states have "rosters" of guns that are legal in said states.

If this passes, I predict that the Cabela's in Reno, Vegas, and Tucson* will be doing great business with Californians.

However, since the House bill has only 5 co-sponsors, and the Senate bill has none, I'm not holding my breath. Not this year, anyway.

*And maybe Springfield, OR, although that's a bit far north.

H.R.1217 - National Commission on Mass Violence Act of 2015 (EDIT)

Not sure how I missed hearing about this one.

EDIT: Realized I left off a link to the bill's page. Interestingly, while the text is the same, there seems to have been a name change: H.R.1217: National Commission on Mass Violence Act of 2015 - U.S. Congress - OpenCongress is what is listed  now, but Representative King's page lists the title as "H.R.1217 - Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015."
To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process.
Introduced by Representative Peter King, R-NY, in March. been in limbo in the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs and House Committee on the Judiciary since then.

Official Summary

Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2015 Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to reauthorize for FY2016-FY2019 the grant program for improvements to the criminal history record system. Amends the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 to:
(1) establish a four-year implementation plan to ensure maximum coordination and automation of reporting of records or making records available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System;
(2) direct the Attorney General to make grants to states, Indian tribal governments, and state court systems to improve the automation and transmittal of mental health records and criminal history dispositions;
(3) provide for withholding grant funds from states that have not implemented a relief from disabilities program and the reallocation of such funds to states that are in compliance;
(4) make federal court information available for inclusion in the System; and
(5) allow the submission to the System of mental health records that would otherwise be protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to:
(1) expand the enforcement authority or jurisdiction of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives;
(2) allow the establishment, directly or indirectly, of a federal firearms registry; or
(3) extend background check requirements to transfers of firearms other than those made at gun shows or over the Internet, or to temporary transfers for purposes including lawful hunting or sporting, or to temporary possession of a firearm for purposes of examination or evaluation by a prospective transferee. National Commission on Mass Violence Act of 2015 Establishes the National Commission on Mass Violence to study the availability and nature of firearms, including the means of acquiring firearms, issues relating to mental health, and the impacts of the availability and nature of firearms on incidents of mass violence or in preventing mass violence. Requires the Commission to conduct a comprehensive factual study of incidents of mass violence, including incidents not involving firearms, to determine the root causes of such mass violence.
I found out about it when I idly clicked the link to "How your U.S. lawmakers voted | The Seattle Times and read that

Background checks on gun sales

By a vote of 244 for and 183 against, the House on Oct. 8 blocked a parliamentary tactic by Democrats aimed at bringing to the floor a bill (HR 1217) now stranded in two committees that would greatly expand background checks on commercial gun sales. The bill would require checks on sales conducted over the Internet, between private parties at gun shows and through classified ads. It would plug existing loopholes that allow an estimated 40 percent of U.S. gun sales to avoid mandatory background checks. Conducted via the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, these checks are intended to prevent domestic abusers, the mentally ill and individuals with criminal records from obtaining firearms. The bill, which also prohibits the establishment of a national registry of gun owners, is nearly identical to the so-called Toomey-Manchin amendment that failed in a Senate vote in April 2013 four months after the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
The voting was pretty much along party lines, at least here in the Northwet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

So Bad It's... Bad

So, it seems that Amazon had a 4-DVD set of The Starlost.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to have missed this, it was the CBC's early 1970s attempt to blahblahblah Star Trek.

They somehow talked Harlan Ellison into being their creative consultant.

Well, OK, they offered him money, and he said something to the effect of "Hey, you're Canadian TV, you have a  limited budget, I have some ideas for how to do a quality SF show on video" which...

OK, if you didn't grow up within broadcast TV range of Canadian TV pre-cable/satellite TV, you may have developed some weird ideas about it, based on the fact that there are some pretty good shows coming out of the Great White North these days, not to mention a lot of US shows that are made up there, due to tax breaks and incentives and subsidies and the like.

Before the 1980s, Canadian TV was execrable. All the talent was fleeing to the US, where it could get rich. Canadian TV, OTOH, was a government thing, and lived down to the assumptions we make about government monopolies. (The BBC notwithstanding.)

So, anyway, Harlan had these Ideas, and they said "Great!", and proceeded to ignore just about everything he said, and make a series that was every bit as bad as everything else they were making back then.

It was so bad that after an episode or two Ellison bailed, while exercising the clause in his contract tat said they still had to give him credit, using the name he specified.

He specified "Cordwainer Bird."

When they tried to get Ben Bova to take over, he asked them why Ellison bailed, and they claimed they didn't know, so Bova asked "What name did he specify in the credits?" and they said "Cordwainer Bird" and he said "I'm out. That's Harlan giving you the finger!"

So it got worse.

Anyway. Series lasted all of 16 episodes. The story lines ran along the lines of the Original Star Trek episodes "Specter Of The Gun" and "Spock's Brain." The CBC wasted much of the budget building a "Bridge" set, even though there was no need for it; the show "bible" envisioned it as being revealed in the final episode, never written. It featured such Hard Science as references to "solar stars."

I remember in high school we were all excited that a new SF series was coming on. I think we managed an average of 3 episodes before giving up.

When Mrs. Drang was making a list of SF series she missed this one; I mentioned it and she said she hadn't seen it.  I congratulated her on her good fortune.

It was, as I said, "So bad it was... Bad."

So. You have been warned.

NOTE: The Ed Bryant novelization of Ellison's original screenplay, with commentary by Ellison, is available on Kindle: Phoenix Without Ashes: Harlan Ellison, Edward Bryant: Books, as is Ben Bova's spoof of the experience: The Starcrossed, Ben Bova.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

QOTD, 10/03/2015


What we should stop doing in the wake of any attack from anyone is listening to the "talking" points of academics, politicians, or psychologists who have no real world experience in most anything let alone contending with dangerous armed men bent of committing evil. And instead listen to dangerous, armed men who are committed to preserving society.
 By Matthew at StraightForward in a Crooked World: Perhaps...

He may be trainable after all...

Obama to Hillary: 'There's a Difference Between Running for President and Being President' | The Weekly Standard

Too bad he never got beyond "How to run for office" and into the "How to do the job" in the training.

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Good Guy Needs Help

You will no doubt have heard that yet another beta male crawled out of his Mama's basement long enough yesterday to try for his 15 minutes of fame down in Roseberg, OR.

Since the campus of Umpqua Community College is a Designated Victimization Zone he managed to rack up a fairly significant score before the local constabulary cleansed him from the gene pool.

One of his victims, Chris Mintz, is an Army vet who reacted to the threat by charging it in an effort to save others. Chris survived, but he was shot seven times and is in the hospital.

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help pay for his medical care and also to support his family while he is recovering: Chris Mintz - UCC Shooting Survivor by Derek Bourgeois - GoFundMe.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Excellant review of the Westgate Mall attack

‘Close Your Eyes and Pretend to Be Dead’ | Foreign Policy
Far from a dramatic three-day standoff, the assault on the Westgate Mall lasted only a few hours, almost all of it taking place before Kenyan security forces even entered the building. When they finally did, it was only to shoot at one another before going on an armed looting spree that resulted in the collapse of the rear of the building, destroyed with a rocket-propelled grenade. And there were only four gunmen, all of whom were buried in the rubble, along with much of the forensic evidence.

During the roughly three-and-a-half hours that the killers were loose in the mall, there was virtually no organized government response. But while Kenyan officials prevaricated, an unlikely coalition of licensed civilian gun owners and brave, resourceful individual police officers took it upon themselves to mount a rescue effort. Pieced together over 10 months from more than three dozen interviews with survivors, first responders, security officers, and investigators, the following account brings their story to life for the first time since the horrific terrorist attack occurred exactly two years ago.
An attack on a crowded shopping mall is a nightmare scenario everyone with a piece of the counter-terrorism role, or just an interest in it, has sweated over. It's easy to say it'll go better "here" than it did "there", but however it goes, it's not going to be pretty.

And I am reconsidering the easy way we dismiss so many of the techniques learned in classes like I wrote about in "Urban Defensive Tactics" class, 12/14/14 as being "inappropriate for non-LEOS or military."

Still highly unlikely we'll ever use them. And the conventional wisdom is that, in a case like that, even a trained, armed citizen should hunker down and defend self and other citizens, not go hunting the bad guys, if for no reason than to avoid being confused for a bad guy by the first responders, but...

And another scenario skills learned in classes like the one described in Shooter Self-Care Class @ NRA AM2015 (Update) would be invaluable.

Also, had not heard that al-Shabab had launched another attack in Kenya, in spring of this year, on a University, where they killed even more.