The Eclectic One

…Because labels are a poor substitute for thinking

Archive for the ‘hoplophobia’ Category

We Don’t Let Blind People Drive….

Posted by Bill Nance on February 11, 2010

So why in God’s name do we let anti-gun, hoplophobic people who know nothing about firearms or firearm safety try to mandate safety practices they don’t even understand?

The latest genius effort?   … wait for it…. Childproof guns.

Yep, This is a new meme coming from among other places, the Million Mom March (aka ignorant women with no common sense).  According to these mechanical engineers,firearms experts, idiots, guns can be made as safe as a teddy bear. Sure, hand your kid that 1911 that shoots a 230-grain projectile at 865 fps. It’s ok, because the MMM has passed laws that made guns safe as a teddy bear!

Think I’m joking?

Childproof Handguns make good sense!
Many products are regulated to make them safe to be used around children:

  • Medicine bottles have childproof caps;
  • Toys for young children are made with parts that cannot be swallowed; and
  • Teddy bears and dolls must be made of non-toxic, non-flammable materials

And how, pray tell, does one make a gun safe for 4-year-old johnny to cuddle up with all by his lonesome? According to the Brady Campaign (who sponsors MMM):  Loaded Chamber Indicators.

I kid you not. these idiots insist on trying to mandate a loaded chamber indicator as a child-safety device on firearms.

To those of you who don’t know what a loaded chamber indicator is, it’s a tab, or colored piece of plastic that is supposed to show when the chamber of a semi-auto racking handgun has a cartridge in it. The idea is that rather than checking to see if the gun is actually loaded, you can use the little tab (which is nearly invisible in most cases) to see if you’ve got one in the pipe. Yes, that’s right. Don’t actually CHECK, use the mechanical device (which can FAIL) to save yourself that extra 1 second which it takes to just look for yourself.

Basic safe gun handling indicates that you keep the gun unloaded until ready to fire. That mean’s you’ve removed the magazine, racked the slide to eject any loaded cartridges and re-checked the chamber just to be sure.  IN THAT ORDER. This is the only method of which I’m aware to be SURE a semi-auto handgun is actually unloaded. If there’s another way to be SURE, I don’t know it and I’m a NRA and State Police certified firearms safety instructor.*

So a loaded chamber indicator would do exactly what to keep kids safe from guns?  That’s right, nothing. In fact, a good bit LESS than nothing. In fact, an LCI is an open invitation to use unsafe gun handling techniques which will, absolutely and without question, lead eventually to a tragedy. You can be certain as the sun rising in the east that some jackass will use this to indicate whether or not his gun is unloaded, that it will fail and he will shoot someone. I’d be amazed if this hasn’t already happened.

Of what utility is the device? None. Zero. Nada.

If you want to check for a loaded chamber on a semi-auto handgun, you rack the slide and LOOK. You do NOT trust to a mechanical device (which can fail) to tell you something that 2 seconds and your own eyes can tell you without any possible error.  Why would you use a loaded chamber indicator? I can only think of one possible use for them and it’s a practice you’re a fool to follow:  That is, before you holster your defensive sidearm that you use the device to see if you’re fully loaded.

If you carry a semi-auto and keep a round in the chamber, that means you practice defensive tactics with this in mind. You draw, release the safety if there is one, aim and fire.What happens if the loaded chamber indicator is stuck or otherwise malfunctioning and in fact there is nothing in the chamber?

You get to hear the loudest noise in the world: a click instead of a bang. In a defensive situation that is likely to mean the difference between life and death. Are you SURE you want to bet your life on the LCI?  -Me neither.

So here we have the Million stupid person Mom March and the Brady Bunch calling for a device which actually increases the danger associated with handguns and claiming it’s going to make guns childproof.-Like a TEDDY BEAR.

I have news for the MMM and the Brady bunch: There is no such thing as a child-proof gun.

There are only GUN-SAFE Children.

That is, kids trained in basic gun safety, which starts with STOP, DON’T TOUCH, GET A GROWNUP.   You’d think educating kids about gun safety would be something these well-meaning authoritarians do-gooders would love wouldn’t you? But oh no, the antis don’t want the NRA’s award-winning educational program “Eddie Eagle” in schools to teach safety.  Oh noes, not the NRA! (shudder horror) No, they’d rather legislate new “features” which make our kids and everyone else demonstrably LESS safe than they were before.

This is how we got an “Assault Weapons” ban that banned vast numbers of firearms for nothing other than the way they looked. This is how we made felons of anyone from New Hampshire that  that makes the mistake of bringing his perfectly legal 13-round magazine into Mass. when he comes here for a shooting competition.

Only this nonsense is infinitely worse. It actually increases the danger of the firearms that the hoplophobes are so frightened of in the first place.

So I propose a new rule:

No one gets to talk about gun safety, gun handling or gun laws until they can pass a basic firearms knowledge and safety test. The test, which is part of the NRA’s basic home firearms safety course is trivial. Any eight year-old could pass it with thirty minutes instruction. Of course this means that it’s well beyond the comprehension of the average Brady Bunch member.

Gun Safety Training: Because you can’t legislate away ignorance or stupidity.

*Disclaimer: I am not in any way speaking for the NRA. I am speaking strictly as a private person. the opinions expressed in this article are mine alone.

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Posted in Creeping Fascism watch, firearms, gun control, Guns Dammit!, hoplophobia, Rants, Stupid people with firearms | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

California Police Chiefs Back Off On Gun Control Measure

Posted by Bill Nance on January 13, 2010

Well, they did it. The California hoplophobes, a decades-long majority in the state legislature  has finally managed to come up with a gun control idea so stupid even the notoriously anti-gun California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA) can’t support it: Microstamping.

In case you don’t know what microstamping is, here’s a good description along with California’s iteration of the process:

Firearms microstamping is the process by which firearms manufacturers would have to micro laser-engrave a gun’s make, model and serial number on two distinct parts of each gun, including the firing pin, so that in theory the information would be imprinted on the cartridge casing when the pistol is fired. Legislation mandating microstamping in California was signed into law in 2007 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) and was slated to take effect this New Year’s Day (2010); however, since the technology remains encumbered by patents it cannot be certified by the California Department of Justice and therefore has not been implemented.

Other people have written about this incredibly bizarre idea California is trying to mandate, but I thought I’d add my 2¢, with the excuse of the letter the California Police Chiefs Association (Which has rarely met a people gun control idea it didn’t like) sent to the California AG saying essentially, “woops.

{From the letter: } Publicly available, peer-reviewed studies conducted by independent research organizations conclude that the technology does not function reliably and that criminals can remove the markings easily in mere seconds. We believe that these findings require examination prior to implementation.”

In other words, the technical flaws of the idea without any other argument needing to be made makes this a stupid idea. But the letter itself is a perfect example of the ignorance and hypocrisy inherent in the idea of requiring the microstamp in the first place, much less registering individual gun owners.    In it’s own words the CPCA references the fact that criminals can easily find a way to evade detection via a firearm registration scheme as one of it’s reasons for opposition to the bill.

“Criminals can remove the markings easily in mere seconds.”

The antis can’t manage to come up with even a remotely plausible scenario in which this stuff would solve many crimes, even if they got everything they wanted. But they want it anyway.

To many who don’t know or care much about guns, gun registration doesn’t sound like a big deal. And if you don’t know anything about microstamping, and much more importantly the assumptions that its supposed efectiveness rests upon, it might not sound like a bad thing. I mean, it’s supposed to help the cops solve crimes right?

The only problem is that this simply isn’t the case.

Microstamping guns and registering individual gun owners depends on a large number of things for them to make more than the very slightest difference in catching bad guys. And trust me, I was a crime reporter for years in an area with high gang violence and lots of shootings. I know whereof I speak.

First, and most easily shown to be false, is the required assumption that guns used by criminals are legally owned and obtained by said criminals. Otherwise having the murder weapon (or shell casing in the case of microstamping is useless.- There’s no connection to the shooter. Microstamping, or even posession of the weapon used will only provide a connection to the gun shop that originally sold the gun or if there is registration of guns as well, a connection in some cases to a previous owner of the firearm.

That won’t help.

We have actual numbers on this stuff. They are released by the FBI and most states every single year, and wide-ranging reports, even those submitted by Clinton Administration appointees and staff in the justice department have concluded that the vast majority of crimes are committed by people with previously existing criminal records, which bars any legal purchase of a firearm, people under age to posesss a firearm legally, and in a staggeringly large percentage of cases, where the gun is stolen or obtained from an illegal black market, so far removed from the original source that tracing is virtually impossible.

Essentially, their excuse for logic is that the thing they want to use for crime solving is the one thing they are absolutely certain to not have, even with the most stringent of registration/microstamping provisions.

First, there are a grand total of about 500-600 unsolved homicides in California each year. About 2/3 of those (following national statistics) are committed with a firearm. Many of these are caught the following year, so the real number of cases where absent more information on the gun could possibly help solve otherwise unsolved cases is already very small. Knowing who used to have the gun legally is of very little help in most cases.

Microstamping, even if it were trivial to do and worked every time rests upon the idea that there are lots of cases where:

  1. A registered gun is used in a crime by a legal gun owner or someone to whom he knowingly gave the gun
  2. Which isn’t a revolver
  3. The perpetrator doesn’t pick up his brass
  4. The perpetrator keeps the gun after committing a crime with it instead of reporting it lost/stolen
  5. The perpetrator is not otherwise tied to the crime
  6. The perpetrator hasn’t altered the gun to defeat registration/microstamping requirements

Is this true for more than a handful of cases? For this they want to spend millions, make ammunition AND firearms prohibitively expensive for all but the well-to-do and cost the state yet more jobs as anyone who is in the firearms business or cares about their human right of self defense, rapidly flees the Golden State.  Like the famous “assault weapon” ban, where the Justice department noted that fewer than .75% of gun crimes were committed by “assault weapons” and that hi-capacity magazines seemed to make no difference in terms of numbers of people injured or in rounds fired, this is another solution to a problem that doesn’t exist outside Sarah Brady’s fantasies.

I gave up on Democrat politicians showing any common sense on gun control a long time ago, but this is enough to make my jaded opinions sit back in awe.  This is beyond stupid. As a matter of fact:

Posted in Crime, firearms, gun control, Guns Dammit!, hoplophobia, Left-Wing Nut-Jobery, Politics, Prison and Justice, Stupid Idea Watch | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Reporting While Armed: The Horror!

Posted by Bill Nance on August 14, 2009

Patrick Appel links to a story about Afghan reporters who are routinely armed for self-defense.

Patrick’s selected quote:

[If] a local journo writes a story that burns a big-shot in government or the drug trade, the reporter will be looking over his or her shoulder (to say nothing of their family’s) for years to come. I don’t know any reporters who carry a gun in the US. Here, I know more than a few reporters who won’t leave the newsroom unless fully strapped.

The original story is about Afghanistan’s dangerous environment, which is hardly a surprise. But the notion that reporters might need to be armed is something that only happens in third-world pestholes is stupid beyond words.

Let me share from my personal experience since I  was a crime reporter for several years.

For a couple of decades now, any crime reporter who actually does their job, as opposed to simply taking dictation from the local police department and talking with the occasional victim, is in serious danger more than occasionally. I’m not complaining about the danger, the streets in crime infested neighborhoods are more violent places than they used to be. But that’s far truer for the residents than for reporters who don’t live there.

If you’re following the scanner, going to crime scenes, talking with neighbors and witnesses etc. in Crack Central at 3am, you’re not unlikely to be accosted by people who really really don’t want the press there asking questions and taking pictures. This is one reason why you almost never see pictures and read interviews with witnesses that were taken at the time unless they happen to be at the scene with a dozen cops around. There are plenty of places where reporters are missing good stories because they aren’t safe for an unarmed person to walk around snooping, even in broad daylight.

The reason all this is bad for newspaper readers is you miss the actual facts, which are often quite different from what the police are saying. As a reporter, you fail to get a genuine understanding not only of the event, but of trends, gang affiliations and lots of other things that give you a depth of knowledge which allows you to inform your readers about what’s going on on a larger scale. In other words, you have no perspective.

Crime sells, so reporters are always going to write about it. It’s also interesting because it’s conflict, which fascinates almost everyone on some level. But how often do you read or hear that crime levels nationally are going down, but in one district, or small subsection of a city the crime rate is 30% above the state’s?  That’s a not infrequently the case and the overall number of murders in a city can be a meaningless statistic. Many police departments don’t keep statistics by neighborhoods and the ones that do don’t share “intelligence information” (not subject to freedom of information act requests) with reporters. If you live in Chicago, the murders in one or two sections may make up 50% of the city’s total. That indicates one area has a crime problem, not the city as a whole.  But reporters who just report blood and take dictation from the cops will never grasp that very important fact.

So if you’re going out there and hustling and taking a few risks (it’s still 10 times safer than being a steelworker) it’s prudent to be armed. I was able to avoid a serious confrontation or assault simply by warning several gang members that I was armed. Who knows how many problems this saved me with other people they talked to.  Criminals don’t like to mess with people who are armed and ready to defend themselves.  Absent a very good reason (like being a rival gang member) they leave you alone.

So I know it’s taking a different tangent from the story Appel linked, but I think the point remains a valid one. That the writer in question doesn’t know any reporters in the ‘States who carry speaks to American reporter’s timidity and hoplophobia, not just that Afghanistan is a dangerous place. I mean seriously, we already knew Afghanistan was dangerous didn’t we?

Posted in afghanistan, Crime, firearms, hoplophobia, International, Journalism | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »