Soob

Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Lunacy of the Brady Campaign

Grainy image of my own Sig Sauer P-239 .357. I've owned this menace for three years. My personal Murder Rate to date: Human Beings: 0 Innocent Paper Targets: More than I can count.

On December 5th the Bush administration overturned the 25 year old federal prohibition of carrying firearms in national parks and wild life refuges. The reaction by the Brady Campaign was swift and predictable as they are suing the Bush administration to stop the policy from being enacted. Here's a quote from the above linked article that, for me, illustrates the cult like mentality of the Brady Campaign:
The lawsuit said members of the Brady Campaign will no longer visit national parks and refuges "out of fear for their personal safety from those who will now be permitted to carry loaded and concealed weapons in such areas."
Naturally, allow a person to pack heat and a blood bath ensues. As someone who resides in a state with the most lax gun laws in the country I can attest to the lawlessness and carnage. 2007 saw a staggering 1.9 murders per 100,000 people here in Vermont. In comparison, the Brady Campaigns poster child for gun control, California, posted an impressive 6.2 murders per 100,000 people (the national average was 5.6, way to go CA!) Clearly the answer to social violence is strict gun control. Right?

Opening up our federally administered parks and wild life refuges to gun toting savages will result in countless OK Corral like showdowns. Because, as the statistics clearly show, perverted and violent minds don't kill people, savages legally packing heat kill people.

Side note: The above mentioned gun ban was implemented under the Reagan administration. I hunted around for an historical account of the reason for that ban and came up empty. Given it's wording ("firearms be unloaded and placed somewhere that is not easily accessible, such as in a car trunk") I suspect it, like most restrictions here in VT, has poaching and not criminality in mind. I welcome factual and sourced input regarding this assumption.

The Department of the Interior's FAQ regarding this decision is here (PDF; nod to Volokh Conspiracy.) An important caveat regarding the decision that will likely not get much press is that the decision allows for statutory imminence. In other words states can adapt/redact according to their existing statutory regulations.

Some blurry footage of my SKS assault rifle with which I've murdered: Human Beings:0, Paper Targets: Genocide (they never stood a chance.)

22 comments:

Eddie said...

While I support the right to own, carry and use a gun, I've yet to hear a good reason for a person owning an assault rifle.
Why stop at just an assault rifle? I would personally love a few nuclear missiles as a deterrent in my neighborhood. Barring that (pesky Americans and their no-go on WMDs), having some mines around my perimeter would be perfect for home security.

Nevertheless, I figure the cat is out of the bag and as robotics progresses, we'll see well-armed robots (Much like Snow Crash) guarding homes, businesses, etc.

I do agree the Brady Campaign is packed with lunatics and fear-mongers. I would go further and say the only new gun control laws we need are ones authorizing the execution of those who (a) knowingly sell guns to criminals or just plain (b) illegally sell guns. Enforce the ones on the books while getting rid of much of the absurd fluff pieces passed in the 90's in the heyday of Raging Rosie, Billary and co. Authorize concealed carry laws everywhere but government buildings. But the need for an assault rifle? I just do not see it.

Mike said...

We should be clear about definitions here, Eddie. By assault rifle do you mean the technical definition of the term, which is a mid-caliber selective fire weapon (like the military issue M-16, AK-47, etc.)? Or do you mean the more common (but incorrect) definition of semi-automatic only weapons that are modeled on said military issue guns (like the many AR patterned rifles out there, WASRs and others patterned on the AK, etc.)?

The first has been regulated since the National Firearms Act of 1934 and even more tightly restricted since the Gun Owner's Protection Act of 1986 (A Democratic Congresscritter inserted language into the otherwise gun friendly act that banned the manufacture of full auto/selective fire receivers for sale to private citizens. The amendment passed on an unrecorded voice vote taken in the middle of the night...just a fun little factoid of the undemocratic measures used by the gun grabbers.) The second is no more lethal (and in fact, arguably less so given the fact that they are usually chambered for a smaller cartridge) than hunting rifles that no one has a problem with. These are the guns that were banned under the stupid "assault weapons" ban. People use "assault weapons" like the SKS, ARs and AK-clones to hunt deer all the time.

While I can make a more involved case for the utility of so called "assault weapons," I'll make simpler case: the "slippery slope" that you invoke in assault weapons works even more effectively the other way. There is legislation in Congress (with an admittedly poor chance of passing) that would reinstate the '94 AWB, but make it even more restrictive. The end result of this would be that since the assholes at the ATF include the curved semi-pistol grip on most semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns in their definition of a "pistol grip" more commonly associated with those evil "assault weapons," the bill would ban almost all semi-automatic hunting rifles and shotguns as they are currently manufactured.

My Mossberg 9200 that I use to hunt would be banned under the bill. That's the end result of allowing the gun grabbers to draw lines...we all end up being able to own nothing. It's all well and good to claim to be principled and have no use for those nasty brutish "assault weapons," but the cold fact is that they'll come for you too eventually. That's one of the reasons the NRA gets involved with stuff that doesn't even involve rifles...they understand that an assault on one aspect of gun ownership is an assault on all of it.

Mike said...

Re: the decision, it's worth noting that more remote federal land (particularly in the southwest) has become something of a haven to drug smugglers and producers. Without commenting on the War on (some) Drugs, I think it's fairly safe to state that more than a few of these people aren't exactly the world's nicest and that I would feel much more secure venturing into territory where I might encounter them if I was carrying a firearm.

Regarding the sentiment about people packing heat and a bloodbath ensuing, I can honestly say that I do not understand that sentiment. I have tried, but I was flabbergasted the other day with an incident involving my mother, usually a fairly reasonable person. I was complaining about the NE state requirement to obtain a permit to purchase before you are allowed to procure a handgun. The silliness of the requirement is that they do nothing other than charge you $5 and run a NICS check on you, which would be run anyway (for free!) if you were buying any firearm from a dealer. The intent of the bill is obviously to discourage the purchasing of handguns. I expressed this, and my mother replied something to the effect of that "with 40 some murders in Omaha this year I can understand why they want to discourage handgun purchasing." My dad and I had to beat each other to the punch in pointing out that most, if not all, of the firearms used in those murders were probably not procured legally, as by definition criminals DON'T FOLLOW THE LAW.

As for my personal arsenal, it is about to increase dangerously as I am in the process of procuring not one, but two handguns, as well as an EBR (evil black rifle). If I am absent from blogging for an extended period of time, check the news for a shooting in Ames as I probably am in jail after flying off the handle due to the influence of my new evil guns.

Jay@Soob said...

Eddie if you have some statistical data that professes the dire threat civilian ownership of assault weapons entails please let me know. Otherwise I'll have to opine that enacting laws based on subjectivity (you don't see why anyone should own an assault rifle) is a bit weak.

You're right in that a line should be drawn. But that line should be based on realistic concerns (obviously a yard full of claymore mines presents an obvious danger to the public and is a pure example of social recklessness) and not base opinion.

Jay@Soob said...

Mike, thanks for the background. Indeed my SKS is only an assault rifle as defined by the '94 restrictions (it exceeds the ammo capacity of five rounds) and not the military definition. That the latest attempt to define assault weapons entails a pistol grip is laughable.

That aside, three fire arms in one month?!! Christ man, you really are a murderous bastard. Don't you realize the taint that the procurement of so many firearms in one place can entail?!

Mike said...

The '94 AWB actually had the pistol grip on the list of banned features (along with detachable magazine capacity, bayonet lug, flash hider, and a few other purely cosmetic features that did nothing to make the firearm any more or less deadly). The difference between the '94 Ban and the one currently in Congress is that the '94 ban required TWO bannable features. So a pistol grip alone would not be enough, you would need to have a pistol grip and a high cap mag, or flash hider, or something else. That's why "California legal" guns will have either a modified grip that is not defined as a pistol grip or a fixed low-cap mag. The new ban only requires one bannable feature, and like I said, the ATF considers that half-pistol type of grip (like your SKS has) a pistol grip. Most people don't think that hunting guns would ever be banned, and they won't be directly, but back door sneakiness like this will have a much further reach than many people estimate.

It's not *really* three firearms in one month, as the only one I actually made a conscious decision to purchase was a CZ vz-82 handgun. The Sig P225 that I'm getting is actually more or less for free as a result of a charity auction thing (not really "free," but the money was to charity and got spent months ago, so free for my purposes), while the AR is long term thing that I've been trying to purchase for a couple months; I'm on the waiting list of the dad of a college friend who is a firearms dealer. He bumped me up to the top of the list but still had to fill all the people already ahead of me, which were fairly considerable not to mention the fact that his supplier is shipping their guns out the door as fast as they can make them.

I did sit down the other day and contemplate how much money I'd spent on firearms in the past six months and realized I needed to slow down...~$2200. That doesn't count ammo or accessories (mags, aftermarket sights, cleaning stuff, etc.) which would easily be another ~$1500 or so. I think I'm doing buying for awhile...

Adrian said...

It's not like there's zero link between legal and illegal guns. Alot of illegal guns that we see in Rochester that are used in shootings were purchased legally and then stolen. So, fewer legal guns means fewer opportunities for legal guns to be stolen in burglaries, etc., and fewer illegal guns floating around.

Eddie said...

Jay,

How would me placing a few land mines around my gated residence be dangerous to the general public who are not going to be walking on my private property? What's the difference between an armed guard with an assault rifle shooting a trespasser on my property and my mine blowing up that trespasser?

I would limit assault rifles to a select group of citizens who pass extensive background checks, agree to produce each assault weapon for a random inspection at any time (to ensure they do not sell them or have them stolen, as happens all too often as Adrian helpfully points out) and actually pass a short series of tests registering their ability to properly and safely use them.

Otherwise, no. Hell, the majority of SWAT team members in this country couldn't even pass basic firearms tests.

We have way too many near-do-wells running around with legal and illegal guns, including the majority of police officers.

Of course, what really scares me is the number of armed people on some type of mental illness medication regimen. You're talking anywhere from 1 in 15 to 1 in 10 at some point, and how many of them have firearms?

Ymarsakar said...

If drug cartels toting military hardware is too much of a problem for the police to handle, then all they have to do is to call in the Marines or the National Guard. And like they took care of Al Qaeda in Iraq, they will make short work of those drug cartels. So long as they have loose enough Rules of Engagement, of course.

Trying to make up new laws is just the kind of desk bound solution some politician or police chief will think up because they can't handle the problem at the source themselves.

Ymarsakar said...

Alot of illegal guns that we see in Rochester that are used in shootings were purchased legally and then stolen. So, fewer legal guns means fewer opportunities for legal guns to be stolen in burglaries, etc., and fewer illegal guns floating around.

That's like saying fewer invasions of places like Iraq equal fewer opportunities for Al Qaeda to flow forces to resist American liberation efforts, which mean fewer civilians killed.

This is an incredibly myopic and anti-humanitarian position. To juggle numbers around and then come to the conclusion that some people's deaths are more valuable than other people's deaths because the statistics show a favorable inclination one way or the other is... too extreme for a reasonable policy position.

In the end, punishing the defenders of humanity by quoting that their actions provide opportunities to the enemies of humanity, is counter-productive. At least if you want to safeguard human rights, it is.

I would limit assault rifles to a select group of citizens who pass extensive background checks, agree to produce each assault weapon for a random inspection at any time (to ensure they do not sell them or have them stolen, as happens all too often as Adrian helpfully points out) and actually pass a short series of tests registering their ability to properly and safely use them.

These two ideas are incompatible.

Either citizens have the right to be responsible for their self-defense and the defense of their entire society, or the government needs to intercede for everybody's benefit.

Currently we have concealed carry permits so the legal precedence is there for unconcealed carry of M4-M16-AK 47-AK 74 rifles. But if that was all we faced, there would be no incompatibility. But that's not all we face and thus there is incompatibility for the status quo will never be sustained. The philosophical foundations for both sides are too mutually exclusive.

Either citizens are held responsible and punished after they have committed a crime or the state has the right to ensure that they never get the chance to make a mistake through laws, permits, and restrictions on owning, manufacturing, or selling firearms (and the ammo).

When you choose one, you exclude the other.

American society is built upon two bedrock institutions. The social compact between two people that know each other and the social compact between the people of America and the governments of America (that's plural by the way).

The danger to counting on the government to take care of your own personal insecurities over your crazy neighbors owning what you don't want them to own means that you have essentially already discarded and violated the social compact between you and your neighbor. You don't trust your neighbor so you are going to look for an outside entity, the government or the law, to take care of things that you personally cannot or will not take care of through personal negotiations against your neighbor utilizing your social skills.

The problem with this is that your neighbor hasn't violated a law. You just worry that he will. Which means your attempt to make laws restricting his ability in your considered best judgment will also result in him reacting in the same fashion. So long as the political compromise of voting and peaceful transition of power remains, that is no problem.

But given the LA gang land and the situation in Britain, Sweden, and the rest of Western Europe, you shouldn't count on that forever.

When people are used to depending on the government to resolve their problems, instead of on their own ability and competence to resolve the problems, people will naturally favor government restrictions as a solution to their insecurity.

And given your views on the police's firearms training, I doubt you want your neighbors calling the police on you and your guns because they fear your capacity for killing.

Ymarsakar said...

Otherwise I'll have to opine that enacting laws based on subjectivity (you don't see why anyone should own an assault rifle) is a bit weak.

given that many people don't own handguns and see no need to use handguns in self-defense, they have the same legal justification as Eddie, if Eddie is able to create new laws based upon his platform.

Even though Eddie's background checks for assault weapon owners may not appreciably decrease the ability to own and use assault weapons, it may even increase its use by allowing a certificate to be issued, but I dare say the people who see handguns the same way Eddie sees assault weapons do indeed outnumber the people who think like Eddie.

If you use or make a law that will target a specific firearm because you don't trust the people that may own or use it, then the equal protection of the law will ensure that others who think similarly will do the same.

The fact that they have been doing the same, DC's banning of handguns for example, only clarifies the need to be aware of the legal consequences and not just the short term tactical gains of certification for assault weapons.

Even so, I doubt Eddie would favor people carrying M4s with plenty of extra mags on their person, which would be the logical complement to the concealed carry laws of many states.

If Mumbai starts happening here, I suppose we'll have to depend upon the SWAT team to save us.

chirol said...

I'd just like to say Soob, that as a fellow gun owner, and holder of two concealed weapons permits, I strongly support the right to keep and bear arms and couldn't agree more about the idiocy of the left and especially the Brady Campaign. I'll be hiking in Shenandoah Valley in Virginia again soon and will proudly carry my Glock 19 this time and feel just a bit safer.

While I don't feel unsafe in Natl. Parks, I don't feel unsafe in most areas (at least in NoVA). But that's the entire point. A national park is no more dangerous NOR no safer than most other areas. The point is that you must always be preapred and that Americans have a legal right to defend themselves by owning guns. If one were to outlaw carrying guns in places where the government thinks you are safe then maybe, just maybe, we could carry in the ghettos. But that'd be about it. Just like having a spare tire and jumper cables in your car, you never expect a problem or trouble, but being prepared can save your life. This new law is common sense and in fact a correction of past nonsense that I fully support.

The government and police have no legal obligation to protect each citizen. Ultimately, one must take responsibility for himself. The police just show up to make the chalk outlines.

Adrian said...

"The government and police have no legal obligation to protect each citizen. Ultimately, one must take responsibility for himself. The police just show up to make the chalk outlines."

As a member of the law enforcement community, that's not exactly correct...

Jay@Soob said...

chirol,
Agreed that ones own safety is first and foremost ones own responsibility. Until emergency services and LE can magically and instantaneously transport to any given location they remain a generally reliable secondary source of security.

The Red Son said...

Soob- How do you like .357 Sig as caliber? If ammo significantly more than other handgun ammo?

Also, did you add the stock to you sks or did it come in that configuration? Yugo, right?

The Red Son said...

P.S. VT gun laws are de best, and ownership is very common. Yet we are the safest and healthiest state.

Jay@Soob said...

RS, I'm very fond of my .357. It's ammo is a bit expensive as it's unique to the Sig. I've thought about buying the .40 cal barrel to cut down the cost.

The SKS is, I believe Yugoslavian (dealer told me it was Chinese but it doesn't look like any Chinese model I've seen) and it's stock is factory.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh man, if you shoot like you take pictures, I better steer off national parks you have in mind to visit. Nothing personal but ;-)

Saheim-al-Azad said...

That looks Chinese to me. What do the markings on the left hand side of the receiver indicate? And that is definately not a 'factory' stock, which would be wood.

Jay@Soob said...

snoop, the end with a hole in it faces away from me or toward me? I forget...

Jay@Soob said...

Saheim,

The barrel is etched by the importer (CAI here in VT) with MDL59/66 which is a Yugo model. However it lacks both the ladder sights on the barrel and the grenade launcher adapter on the muzzle so perhaps it isn't a Yugo model.

The receiver, bolt and bottom of the trigger guard are stamped 202167.

Jay@Soob said...

Hang on, the receivers # is preceeded by the letter G. Best match I can make with this serial number is via Yooper John's web site a Yugo model, some of which do not have the g-launcher and ladder sights.