Monday, October 9, 2017

Technology Will Kill the NFA and Bump Stock Ban

Solid concepts 1911: coming to a garage near you
Millions of people learn what bump fire is for the first time and wonder why anyone can basically have their own machine gun. All gun owners can answer about bump fire stocks is that they are range toys. Bump fire stocks are now indefensible while everyone misses the point that the stocks just do something that talented folks can do with their hands alone.

NRA gives into proposed bump fire ban. Republicans also join the ban bandwagon. ATF's legislation by determination letter concept is validated by NRA and Congress.

Feinstein proposes legislation that bans anything that can make a semi-auto gun fire faster. If the ATF can make a determination just what exactly makes a semi-auto fire faster, that can include smooth triggers too, because Jerry Miculek can fire at 500 RPM using his finger. ATF bans drop-in triggers and any trigger part that is not the factory junky pull.

Now the precedent is set for an assault weapon ban. What else can the ATF determine by determination letter? If "no one needs a bump fire stock," then why does anyone really need a semi-auto? Semi-auto guns can be fired almost as fast as bump fire. Plus X, Y, and Z mass shooting with a semi-auto.

All because gun owners, Congress, and the NRA gave in over and "unnecessary" and "scary" feature like the bump fire stock. Sound at all like pistol grips, forward hand grips, shoulder-things-that-go-up, bayonet lugs, and flash hiders? (Imagine if he didn't have a flash hider; maybe someone could have seen him sooner!)

No one needs a rifle that can fire more than 10 rounds without reloading! Just like how no one needs an accessory that can simulate machine gun fire.

Except for those people who bought a bump fire stock because it kept them from illegally modifying their rifle into an illegal machine gun, just so they could scratch that full auto itch. That's what bump fire is for; giving people who might tinker with the guns an out. If machine guns weren't ridiculously expensive because the supply is arbitrarily finite, this wouldn't even be an issue. And because machine guns are so darn rare and costly, very few people have one even though demand would be overwhelming.

We saw a similar hysteria over 80 years ago. “No one needs a machine gun.” How many gun owners would give their eyeteeth to be able to afford a machine gun, something that vast majority of the sporting public at the time would not have felt there was any need, or desire, for.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 was a crime bill, disguised as a tax bill, meant to regulate machine guns, handguns, "destructive devices" (things that go boom), and easily concealable short-barreled shotguns and rifles. As most seem to know, the Depression and Prohibition in the '20s and '30s were also responsible for a crime wave with the most notorious bandits and gangsters of the 20th Century, most of whom liked the few machine guns at the time.

In 1934, portable fully automatic weaponry (legally termed "machine guns") was very limited. Submachine guns in the US were largely Tommy guns and Colt BARs and Monitors. A few odd semi-autos were often converted as well, such as M1911 machine pistols. Though the selection of weapons was very small, their use made a huge psychological impact on police and the public. While some states banned machine guns after WWI (mostly because of wartime bring-backs), the hue and cry to ban them federally was not until the bootlegger and gangster days hit full swing.

Pistols had been attacked for years and an outright ban on them was quite popular, along with very modern licensing and registration to start. The NFA originally required a $200 tax stamp, for many several months' or a year's wages, for pistols and revolvers. The NRA agreed to the bill only after handguns were dropped out. Short-barreled shotguns and rifles were originally included, but not removed, because if revolvers and pistols were illegal, the logical step would be to cut-down long-guns to make them easier to hide. For some reason, perhaps the intimidation factor of a sawed-off shotgun, the long guns were left in after handguns were removed.

When the law was passed, many hillbillies were arrested for possessing illegal items, but not machine guns, usually sawed-off shotguns. This resulted in the Miller Case, which if enforced properly today, would legalize virtually all regulated items. You see, it was very easy to saw-off a few inches of barrel to create a handy shotgun for vehicle protection or hunting, but quite difficult to make a machine gun. If you were lucky to own a machine gun, you had probably brought it back from France in a dufflebag.

Firearms design was not as easy as it was today. First, you had to know what you were doing in a machine shop. Prototyping was the only way to go. Very few men had the knowledge and resources to go out to the garage and build a gun, much less a submachine gun, from scrap. Certainly the average person had no way of drilling out a receiver blank to make an 80% gun. Technology limitations made the NFA possible; except for the very few, the only way to get a regulated machine gun or silencer was to go out and buy one. At $200 a pop in taxes, plus the cost of the gun (usually that much or far more), very, very few could afford it.

The NFA was enforceable when all that most people could do was chop off some of their barrel. If the Treasury Department agents had to track down everyone with a garage who was cobbling together a lightweight, man-portable carbine-caliber machine gun, the NFA would be a joke. Machine gun ownership was relatively rare until inflation made $200 seem rather small in comparison to a $500 M16.

The days of the gun manufactures needing a large factory was by the time the 1980s rolled around. Anyone with skills, tooling, and a shop or warehouse zoned for manufacture could now build guns. More and more people were buying machine guns as more and more manufacturers built them. Then in 1986, the anti-gun hysteria caught up with the technological revolution. New machine gun manufacture for civilian sale was stopped, creating a very finite supply (about 125k) of legal guns, just like in 1934. Registered (transferable) machine gun prices went through the roof because none were going to be made again for a very long time, if ever.

A competent machinist can follow directions in many of the online tutorials or instructional books (thank you First Amendment) to build submachine guns in their garage. However, imagine the ease of constructing a machine gun that was no more complicated to fabricate and assemble than a typical 80% receiver.

In a few years, when home 3D printing (both polymer and metal) become commonplace, you'll be able to make your own full-auto AR-15 or whatever else and no one can stop you. Imagine a full-auto rifle in the hands of everyone who wants one. Is the ATF going to arrest the millions of Americans who make their own machine guns? No way it's possible logistically and for damn sure these new machine gun owners aren't going to go to jail just so a pointless status quo is preserved.

You can't stop the signal. Technology will soon invalidate the NFA the same way the printing press and the Protestant Reformation ended the monolithic church. So have fun banning bump fire and killing the suppressor bill. Those efforts will only push technology-minded patriots to come up with effective work-arounds so that we all can possess what we want without being strangled by an outdated and unconstitutional law.


Friday, October 6, 2017

Flush the NRA Over Bump Fire


NOTE: They care called "bump fire stocks," not bump stocks.

Remember after Sandy Hook and the media waited on baited breath for the NRA’s big announcement, which turned out to be them recommending armed teachers in schools? The media was hoping that the NRA in 2012 was going to announce support for draconian gun control. It took almost five years, but the NRA finally turned tail and ran.

Many are defending the NRA, calling it a “tactical retreat” to avoid getting crucified by the mainstream media. Given that the stocks are just range toys and have no real practical purpose (unless you are psychopath), in the highly emotional charged atmosphere there is little to defend about them.

The other alternative is that offering up bump fire on a platter is a way to avoid something worse, like an “assault weapons” ban or magazine ban (or even worse), betting the ATF makes an administrative ruling that gives political cover to everyone and frustrate the Democrats. No doubt in the following American Rifleman they will call a reclassification a “victory.” An “eat Peter to save Paul” strategy won’t work when the wolves have an insatiable hunger. Look at California; just when it looks like they’ve taken it all, there is more for them to ban. If you give a mouse a cookie…

Or what if they are doing this as a bargain to get national reciprocity and suppressors/silencer deregulation passed? Again, the idea of bargaining with the Devil is a terrible idea when all you have to trade is the moral high ground and something they are taking away anyhow. You can have bump fire after I can carry in California and buy a can over the counter. All such belief in “strategy” is mere hope, and hope is not a plan.

When Samuel Johnson (the Oxford English Dictionary guy) learned he was dying, he supposedly said: “I will be conquered; I will not capitulate.” He would eventually die, but he would not simply give up right then and there. We were going to lose this once the media and the left latched on to it, seeing as how we’ve filled Washington with Republicants. If we would lose anyway and be demonized as usual, why what does the NRA gain by yielding the moral high ground?

Gun owners are willing to give up on bump fire stocks in order to save whatever else anti’s might be after and/or get this supposed bargain in return. They are sadly mistaken that this strategy is a good one and display a level of misunderstanding about the left that will one day doom them.

"We only lose our rights if we allow ourselves to be shamed, threatened, whined, and lectured into giving them up by skeevy tragedy-buzzard pols, mainstream media meat puppets, and late night chucklemonkeys whose names and faces all blend together into one unfunny, preachy blur." In the darkest of times, we must stand on principle even if the whole world calls us fools. Australian gun confiscation came about because gun owners acquiesced to sacrifice one thing to save another, only to ultimately lose both. 
If we should take away a "unnecessary" item like bump fire stocks, then to save lives we need to take away unnecessary items like alcohol and cars that can go faster than the speed limit. I don't feel guilty for having or enjoying bump fire because I'm not a murderer.

Almost immediately, the shit hit the fan and the NRA took much heat from their members, so they went on Fox News to explain themselves. 
“We didn’t talk about banning anything. We talked about ATF going back and reviewing whether or not these are in compliance with federal law," Chris Cox said to Tucker Carlson. Not so. Whatever the words, whatever the secret strategy, the NRA has thrown bump fire stocks to the wolves. They have surrendered and signaled their critical weakness to the left; the NRA care more about appearances and feelings that rights. 
This announcement was a disavowal of bump fire and tacit approval for whatever the US government wants to do. Wayne LaPierre told Sean Hannity as much. "What the NRA has said is we ought to take a look at that, see if it’s in compliance with federal law and if it’s worthy of additional regulation." One wonders what Wayne would have done if the multimillionaire took the time to legally buy a machine gun. The Oregon Firearms Federation said on Facebook: 
"While LaPierre will be all over the place on this, ultimately what he has called for is for them to be treated like machine guns or be banned, and no amount of doublespeak is going to change that. Keep in mind, the reason full auto firearms are so expensive is because of a deal NRA made in 1986 to ban their sale to civilians if they were manufactured after that year. So now, in addition to having to deal with all the Federal red tape and costs, you also have to be very wealthy to own one." 
Bump fire stocks were reviewed and approved by the ATF; they are in compliance with federal law. Hell, even Dianne Feinstein thinks so (which is why she wants them made illegal). "The term 'machinegun' means any weapon which shoots ... automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger." 26 U.S. Code § 5845(b) Each time the bump fire stock recoils, the finger contacts and pulls back the trigger. Of course, the ATF has jumped through bigger hoops before and will probably do so this time.

The NRA compromised in 1934 when the National Firearms Act originally sought to ban register and tax pistols along with machine guns, short-barreled rifles and shotguns, and other funs. This was entirely an anti-crime bill masquerading as a tax bill, intending to curb the Depression and Prohibition Era crime of gangsters. Concealed weapons (and handguns in general) had also been demonized for decades at this point because of profligate use in the South and Old West.

Back then, NRA President Karl T. Frederick stated he did not approve of carrying guns for self-defense (a viewpoint that was shockingly prevalent in America). 
“I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I seldom carry one. I have when I felt it was desirable to do so for my own protection. I know that applies in most of the instances where guns are used effectively in self-defense or in places of business and in the home. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” 
On May 16, 1934 the NRA agreed to withdraw its objections if pistols and revolvers were removed from the National Firearms Act. This appears to be the work of dedicated pistol marksmanship competitors lobbying both Congress and the NRA. Despite a lack of popular support among the American public, there was enough hatred of handguns by those in power to have enacted such a ban.

The NRA also refused to stand firm in 1986, allowing the Hughes Amendment to ban post-’68 machine guns, thus driving up the price via limited demand of registered guns. In 1994, they did nothing to stop the Assault Weapons Ban. Republicans and conservative organizations need to grow balls and not give in to the left because emotion is involved. Tragedies are exploited by the left precisely because conservatives give in almost each and every time. "Shall not be infringed" does not mean give up a range toy because it makes weak-willed politicians and lobbyists look bad. Today it's bump fire, tomorrow it is semi-automatic rifles.

Many say, “But who else is fighting for your rights?” If it cannot lobby a full Republican government to de-regulate suppressors and concealed carry reciprocity, but infringes on the Second Amendment because of feelings, we don't need them in Washington or the statehouse. We have a friggin’ Republican-controlled Congress and Republican President; why wasn’t this stuff rushed through right away? Why wasn’t the NRA raising holy hell with the Republicans? If what I’ve seen from the NRA this year is fighting for my rights, they aren’t worth it to me.

Other organizations can provide lobbyists. Heck, lobbyists aren’t even really needed in an age when mass communications make it easy for citizens to reach their representatives or heckle them. At the local level, only when Question 1 came up did the NRA make a significant investment. Nevadans on an individual basis have done more to stop bad legislation and pass good state bills than the NRA has. The NRA freak out when they realized that Nevada Carry is more influential in this state than they are.

The NRA no longer deserves your money. Support the NVFAC instead and get involved on your own; don’t expect some dude in a suit to do all your fighting for you. No compromise. The Left doesn't.  They will push and push until they disarm us and then they can do what they want to us. The hour we need the Second Amendment for its indented purpose is drawing ever closer. If you cannot expect the NRA to stand-up against a pointless ban, how can we expect them to stand for us when we must fight the civil war on the horizon?


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Round-Up of Posts on Shooting


Since things tend to get buried on Facebook, here is a round-up of what you need to know.

RINO Gov. Sandoval wants “guidance” on implementing the private gun sale ban, Question 1. Basically he asked Attorney General Adam Laxalt (also an assumed Republican candidate for governor) to review his decision that found Question 1 as un-implantable. Sandoval wants the FBI to change its mind and process Nevada’s private background checks, which they refused to do because Nevada isn’t paying the FBI to do it. If Trump goes soft on gun control, expect the FBI to change its mind.

All indications show that the killer bought his guns through dealers and not privately. Sandoval has always read the political winds and is no friend of gun owners, but only willing to do what is politically expedient. As a moral coward, when he feels the hot wind of liberal and media scorn (like all moderate Republicans), he looks to cave on something important to appear he’s sensitive and doing something.  

Give Gov. Sandoval a piece of your mind at his contact page here, and email the Attorney General at: mailto:aginfo@ag.nv.gov

Machine Gun Vegas posted a press release throwing the Second Amendment against the bus, deleted the press releases from their website when it began to circulate, but gave this story to the UK press which is totally hypocritical of them. If the rest of us must sacrifice our gun rights, why should they allow to operate a machine gun tourist range?

A Mandalay Bay security guard approached the room and may have spooked the shooting into killing himself or at least ended the attack.

Conspiracy Theory?

No, probably just one deranged dude. Maybe with a little help, but this was not government “false flag,” just a crazed leftist, driven to violence by the rhetoric in the media and online.

Author and former Navy SEAL Matt Bracken wrote in his novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic of a similar attack at a sports stadium with a sniper “lobbing” rounds into the crowd creating just as many awful casualties. In his book, at the time, it was unthinkable that any one individual would do something like this, so he had to blame it on a conspiracy by an out-of-control government, thus spurring on the plot. If a writer can come up with this idea, or many other of the nightmare scenarios in Hollywood blockbusters, why can’t a smart man think it up on his own?

As far as other shooters, where are the bodies at other locations? No “I was there” reports, no video, no photos of additional crime scenes, just wild innuendo based on scanner traffic, itself based on panicked crowd reactions.

Shooter on the 4th floor? Nope, strobe light in a room, filmed earlier in the night. Also, if they haven’t replaced the glass in time for the President’s visit, how/why did they replace the 4th floor glass? Magic glass? Anyone have proof lower-floor windows in the hotel actually open enough for a rifle to poke out?

Secondary Motive, Harming the Second Amendment

In this article, we discuss a bit about conspiracy theory and motives. Short version is he was likely a dedicated leftist who wanted political violence. A very probable secondary motive was to utterly devastate the Second Amendment and quite probably Nevada’s good gun laws. Our state is very vulnerable right now, with a weak-willed governor and a Democrat controlled legislature, not to mention a very Democratic leaning voter demographic. Passing more gun control is giving this guy what he wants.

Open Carry and the Shooting

Millions of people upon learning that Nevada is an open carry state probably assumed that the killer carried his rifles through the casino floor and up to his room slung over his shoulder. Being America or out west (depending on where the person is), this seems totally normal. Casino and hotel guests probably just shrugged off the guy with twenty-odd rifles in the elevator as normal. Not so. Open carry is not to blame.

The shooter carried the guns up to his suite in several suitcases. Casino security will ask anyone they know is carrying to leave or disarm and store their weapon. Walking through a casino with a rifle on your shoulder, on the Strip, or in any heavily trafficked area in Las Vegas will cause alarm and a police response. No one legitimately carries a rifle in public here, despite what hysteria and anti-gun memes try to say.

In the past two days, many open carriers have said that others remarked to them that the sight of a holstered pistol made them feel safer for being around. Imagine that. Open carriers making unarmed folks feel safe instead of afraid. That is not something that these editorial writers and so-called journalists quoting our website for filler material will report. Not in this case, but in many others, one armed and brave citizen can and has stopped mass shootings.

Security Screening?

Metal detectors and baggage checks at casinos won’t last. It’s too expensive, too troublesome, and ultimately ineffective. Shooters will attack the security lines instead. It is what happened in the Brussels airport attack. Go for the soft targets outside the security areas. What we are witnessing is reactionary security theater and is unlikely to stop anything. If casinos put up metal detectors and backscatter devices, terrorists will just hit the dense crowds on the Strip.

Right now there is a psychological and public relations need for security theater. Guests won’t stand being treated like criminals when they come to lose money. Guns in the hotel room will be an issue when SHOT Show comes to town and DEFCON attendees want to hit the range. On top of that, the Strip isn’t a safe place. Concealed carriers do not deserve to be rendered helpless because some executard is more worried about liability and appearances than keeping guests from being robbed and raped in the parking garage.


What to Do During a Mass Shooting

In the aftermath of Sunday’s shooting, many pundits are cynically wondering what an armed citizen could have done to stop this. The answer is nothing, of course, but that’s not the point. This was an aberrational attack obviously intended to avoid such a prospect. Many times though, armed citizens can and do save the day.

First, avoid large crowds and places where you are disarmed.

Disrupt the shooter.

Anything you can do to frustrate the shooter’s plans can help to keep others alive and end the attack. Make him react to you. He may not have planned what to do when a citizen counterattacks. Infantry are taught to break an ambush by charging the attackers to seize the initiative.

Undersheriff McMahill reported that the shooter fired for 9-11 minutes. Apparently, the guard disrupted the attack by spooking the shooter. A security guard went directly to the room during the shooting and was shot when the suspect saw the guard approaching down the hallway. Officers working at Mandalay Bay assembled into a team and shortly followed the officer up. It is highly probable that the guard’s approach is what caused the shooter to stop and commit suicide.

Get behind/under cover.

Cover stops a bullet, concealment is something that makes you not visible, but won’t stop a bullet. A hedge is concealment, a concrete wall is cover. Cars make poor cover, but are better than nothing. In context of the Mandalay Bay shooting, the thick plywood of the stage would stop or slow down a bullet enough to mitigate its wounding effectiveness.

Create distance between you and the shooter.

Run away as fast as you can. Don’t zig zag, just run for cover. Don’t free, don’t wonder what’s going on. Get under cover and stay there. Don’t follow the crowd either. Ambushers expect their targets to freeze or be drawn further into the kill zone. This is especially important to remember during a mass shooting. Don’t unwittingly run into the arms of second shooter.

Be prepared to fight back.

Initial reports (rumors) were that there may have been multiple shooters. If there were multiple shooters, it would be entirely in character to have the elevated shooter panic the crowd and drive them into other shooters at the exit. If this was the case, the disarmed crowd, which included off-duty cops, would have been unable to fight back. Armed citizens can and have stopped mass shootings. Fighting back against a sniper with a handgun isn’t possible, but you might well need a handgun to fight accomplices.

In this respect, venues shouldn’t be disarming off-duty cops and licensed concealed carriers. Most venues are concerned about gang shootings (a very real concern) and drunk people with guns doing stupid things. However, studies have shown that licensed concealed carriers are more law-abiding than even police officers as a whole nationally. Allowing police to carry should be a no-brainer. Unless a venue can provide credible armed security to safeguard its guests, it has no business disarming good citizens.

Get medical training and equipment.

Stopping the shooter and getting out of the kill zone is only the first part of the battle. When the shooting stops, gun gadgets aren’t going to help. Knowledge of how and where to correctly apply pressure, how to check for wounds, or how to apply a tourniquet or bandages will be in demand. Firefighters and paramedics do not charge into “hot zones” to provide medical care until the police secure it. Help may not be coming directly to you right away. If you can’t carry a small medical kit on your person, put one in your car. But knowledge can go anywhere with you. You don’t need to be an EMT, but first aid training is a start.







Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Conspiracy of One: Attack on the Second Amendment

How do you do the maximum damage to the Second Amendment? If you are a Nevadan, how do you help the purple state enact pointless gun control laws? Easy, you use all the weapons you want banned to murder 59 people and wound 517. As I said yesterday, this was the work and deformed brainchild of a criminal mastermind, before now only seen in the pages of comic books and fiction.

Some would call it a “false flag” or conspiracy theory, but evil doesn’t need a conspiracy. If a thriller writer can come up with this stuff, why do we need a shadowy government agency or an underground group of leftist conspirators? No, all that was needed was the depraved imagination of one very bad man. If you wanted to ban a certain type of gun, magazine, accessory, etc. why not use those same things in a horrific killing?

The calls for gun control after Sandy Hook provided the perfect example for the killer to follow. Horrify the nation and let the media and spineless politicians call for gun control. In this case, gun control and the relentless civilian disarmament industry played right into the killer’s hands. Society and politicians were the unwitting conspirators in his plans. Even today, President Trumps comment that “we will be talking about gun laws” is playing right into the script.

As we are learning, the shooter was an Antifa-affiliated leftist. Antifa is calling for violence and a civil war. Well, it’s here. This was an act designed to kill probable Trump supporters and deprive citizens of their gun rights. If we are facing a civil war, where other citizens are the enemy, citizens need their guns. These are the exact times our forefathers knew we would need the Second Amendment for.

Now let’s look at bit at the weapons and the plan.

Fully automatic weapons are highly regulated and very difficult to get. For a multimillionaire with a clean record, it’s not a problem to spend the $20,000 or more to buy a full-auto M16 or M4 (the military AR-15s). There is almost a year wait for the background check to clear though. Machine guns might as well be illegal, they are so rare. Indeed, legal machine guns have been used in three killings in US history since the National Firearms Act regulated them in 1934.

But it is not hard to illegally convert a semi-automatic rifle to fully automatic. Full auto conversions can be done a variety of ways, which I will not get into. Plans are online, and any one with mechanical skills and knowledge about the function and operation of firearms can do it. Perhaps the killer, with his aerospace background, had some engineering or machinist experience. What better way to provide support for a semi-auto ban than to show how “easy” it is to convert one into a machine gun?

“High capacity” magazines were used (of course), something that has already been on Clark County Sheriff Lombardo’s radar and a goal of the Democrats to ban in Nevada. “Assault weapons” too. Nevada is a purple state, saturated with Democrat-leaning voters fresh from California. A good push and they and their elected representatives will vote to enact gun control.

Nevadans should expect legislation, either in the form of a special session, or in 2019 (doubly so if the majority holds) to outlaw “assault weapons,” magazines capable of taking 10+ rounds, silencers/suppressors, and items regulated by the National Firearms Act. And Mr. Psycho gave them the perfect event point fingers at. Disgusting when you think the killer was a leftist, killing conservatives, most likely with the idea that his act would help further gun control.

If Democrats and politicians, including our president, have any decency, they will realize this act was intended to further divide us and force us to sacrifice our Second Amendment rights. It is macabre to justify more gun control using an act that deliberately sought to paint guns in the worst possible light to provide ammo for that very ban. “This man killed all these people just so that we could ban all the weapons he killed them with.” Way to play into a murderer’s hands.

None of the proposed gun control measures would have done a damn to save lives. All of California’s gun control laws were subverted in the San Bernardino Islamic terrorist attack.

Full auto for criminals is not practical. The vast majority of full auto weapons are not very controllable on automatic. Enormous amounts of ammo was wasted in Vietnam because of the “spray and pray” technique. Accurate, semi-auto fire is more practical. True machine guns (infantry support weapons, not the legal term) are designed for high volume fire suppression. Fire is often plunged onto the enemy, often done in WWI by firing in an arc. Shooting in defilade (downwards) into a crowd was a dastardly way to maximize full auto fire. But unless you are a monster like the leftist murderer, it’s not effective for much else.

Full auto fire is more effective and reliable than bump fire, which is essentially “tricking” the rifle into firing as fast as possible by rapidly bumping the finger against the trigger under recoil. Bump fire is basically a range toy. It is highly inaccurate because the rifle is recoiling inside its stock and shaking all over the place. It is a fun and loud way to convert ammunition, usually at $9 a magazine, into smoke and noise. Except as a terror weapon, it has no practical value in combat.

If someone wanted bump fire banned, why not leave a Slide Fire brand stock at the scene of the crime and let the anti-gun whores call to ban a mechanical item that was immaterial to the crime? “Why in God’s name would you need this other than to do what the Vegas shooter did?” one person said on our Twitter feed. Fun. Bump fire is an enjoyable hobby for many. No civilians “need” a machine gun, but if they can afford one, they can own one in most states.

Many looking to compromise on gun laws or looking to ban things will try to throw bump fire under the bus because it has no practical use. It’s not called the Bill of Needs, I say in reply. In fact, I say no to further gun bans, especially the bump fire stocks, cranks, and “multi-burst trigger activators” (as California calls them) because enough is enough. Massacres are not about guns, they are about criminals. I will not give up or allow infringement upon my sacred rights to provide false comfort to someone who would trade liberty for freedom.

The killer went down as a martyr for the leftist cause, no doubt full of the malignant gospel of hate spewed daily online and reinforced, only in softer terms, by the mainstream media. I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out he had a terminal diagnosis or some other "life ending" event that just occurred. A conversion to Islam would be inline as well. He didn't care about getting caught or dying, just in what evil he could achieve.

Deny the killer what he sought. Say no to gun control. I know the ideas for allowing such items in public hands is hard for many non-gun owners to understand, but the reasons are there. American gun ownership secured our frontier and protected us from outrages like was have seen across the world in the last century. If we allow ourselves to trade liberty, dangerous as it is, for security, we deserve the slow encroachment of tyranny that the disgusting psychopath tried to help bring.


Metal Detectors on the Strip?

Many are speculating on enhancing security on the Strip, but additional security measures wouldn’t necessarily have prevented this crime or many others. For instance, the concert venue banned firearms, so a ground-based attack would be out, yet the defilade fire attack we saw worked sickeningly well. Inventive, evil minds will find a way. Meanwhile, some suggested solutions would only cause more problems.

Metal detectors at each entrance wouldn’t have done a thing in this instance. The man was a guest shooting from his suite, not someone shooting on the casino floor. Management wants traffic coming in and gambling as quickly as possible, so they are not going to check every person coming in. More advanced technology (we’ll call it gun radar) can scan crowds, but isn’t actually that efficient or reliable yet. It also can’t read someone’s intentions, i.e. concealed carrier high roller or potential cage robber.

Disarming the many concealed carriers would also alienate a lot of American gamblers very quickly. It also puts people at risk as they go to and from the hotels. The Strip isn’t safe. Rapes, robberies, and murders happen in parking garages and out on the streets, alleys, and pedestrian bridges. People working, visiting, or staying on the Strip deserve to be defend themselves and being unable to carry to/from one’s room or discreetly while patronizing a casino puts folks at risk. I certainly wouldn’t visit the Strip if I knew a hotel would throw me out for carrying concealed while behaving myself.

TSA style baggage screening would have detected the killer’s weapons and equipment, but it isn’t feasible. Hotels would not have the resources—manpower, money, or time—to screen what each person had in their bags. Guests wouldn’t stand for it either.

Had hotel staff known the killer had firearms somehow, he would have probably asked him to store his guns elsewhere or perhaps check it with security. To avoid suspicion, he could have easily claimed that he was a competitive shooter, etc. and didn’t want his guns stolen down in the car.

Seeing the shooter’s “setup” would have been a dead giveaway, but that is fixed with a little door handle placard. Staff could daily enter each room in the future, “do not disturb” or not, but that is impractical and still would have been easy to defeat by altering when the guns came into the room.

We just have to accept that evil happens and is sometimes beyond our ability to control it. We don’t need more bad ideas and gun control.

Monday, October 2, 2017

When the Unthinkable Became Real

On my computer there sits a half-finished article wondering why we haven’t quite seen criminals and terrorists who rise to the level of Hollywood’s nastiest villains. I wondered why 9/11, the North Hollywood Bank shootout, the DC snipers, etc. were not commonplace. I mean, if a sane writer can think up this stuff for a plot, what about the crazy and depraved criminals out there? Why don’t they craft evil that our most terrifying fictional nightmares would envy?

Before Sunday night, the idea of a crazed sniper mowing down concert-goers from a makeshift machine gun nest would only be plausible in the pages of a comic book. Somehow, a caped crusader would save the day and all would be well. Not so. While many marvel at the numbers or rage over gun control, I am shaken by the utter fiendishness of this attack. Murder requires an abandoned and malignant heart. I’m not sure what evil is required to do so in the manner and amount we saw on the Strip, but it is heretofore unimaginably bad.

To put this in perspective, here in America such well thought out gun attacks have been the province of fiction, not reality. Even 9/11’s planes-into-buildings seemed like a dramatic ending when Tom Clancy forecasted something similar in one of his novels before it happened. At sundown on Sunday, hundreds of casualties shot from the sky didn’t seem plausible except in books or on the silver screen.

Author and former Navy SEAL Matt Bracken wrote in his novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic of a similar attack at a sports stadium with a sniper “lobbing” rounds into the crowd creating just as many awful casualties. In his book, at the time, it was unthinkable that any one individual would do something like this, so he had to blame it on a conspiracy by an out-of-control government, thus spurring on the plot.

Everyone looks for an explanation because it is hard to imagine that without sufficient cause, men just do things like this. Conspiracy theories are popular to explain events of this consequence because it is utterly terrifying to believe that it can happen anywhere, anytime, for essentially no reason. That is a fact of life that is too uncomfortable for many to face, thus the government or the Illuminati must have done it. Evil doesn’t need a conspiracy, it merely takes advantage of what is already at its disposal.

Reality is often stranger than fiction, but we are still surprised when horror leaps off the page. Author Morgan Robertson predicted both the Japanese lead Pacific war, lasers, and in his 1898 novella, The Wreck of the Titan, a superliner just like the Titanic sinking under similar circumstances. Just like 9/11 was an event that was beyond imagination, an attack like this could only be conceivable in fiction. At least until it happened.

Take The Dark Knight for example. The Joker dresses up hostages with masks and guns taped to their hands to be shot by the SWAT team. This is the kind of evil thinking we are facing; maximum casualties with minimum interference. Even the comparatively bad shooting in Aurora at the screening of The Dark Knight, relying on darkness and mistaking the shooter for a costumed movie-goer, wasn’t this demonic. Meticulous, but thank God the killer there chose a fairly limited venue that was easy for police to get to.

What happened last night was a worst-case scenario of tremendous proportion. Think of all the really evil bad guys in film, like in Swordfish where the “bad guys” or whatever put explosive belts on the hostages. Stuff like that is rare. It is highly unusual to see this level of intricate planning and dedication to pull it off. Without minimizing the humanity of the losses, events like Orlando were so deadly because of luck, not planning on the part of the shooter. We have been blessed.

Comparing the events of fiction to this event are the only to really contrast just how nefarious the killer was. We see movie villains like Lex Luther, the Joker,  or Bane and think “no one could be that evil.” Yes, they can. It is new experience to see, on our streets, an American who stops and plots out a massacre that would make a screenwriter ill to conceive of. Imagine if every high profile killer took the time to do what this monster did? Imagine if this was a normal occurrence? It would be our collective dread, hurt, and fear magnified many, many times.  

The concert plot was so diabolical, it exceeds the comparatively slap-dash and amateur events in Orlando and San Bernardino. The killer thought big; something that gives terrorism experts nightmares. This was deliberately intended to be very bad and horrific on a magnitude we have rarely seen. The circumvention of possible “failure points” was what took this far beyond what we have seen before. It was all coldly planned by an intelligent mind to maximize destruction and eliminate interference.

Let’s look at what he did to make this so awful:
  • The shooter chose an elevated position facing a large crowd where gravity would assist his shooting.
  • No one would think shots would come from sealed hotel windows (balconies or the roof more likely).
  • Few in the crowd would really know where the shots were coming from.
  • Cover from bullets at the concert would be scarce and stampedes likely.
  • No one could shoot back (unlike many other shootings where an armed citizen could make a difference).
  • On the 32nd floor, there was no risk a patrol office would run across the shooter and interrupt him and it would take a long time for police and SWAT to assemble and assault the building.
  • The killer had many weapons and two shooting positions prepared.
This wasn’t an angry kid with a half-baked plan or a terrorist who got lucky the SWAT team didn’t storm the building. This was an event so appalling, that the only planning that could truly save lives was the medical response. Let that sink in. No law could have stopped this. No police response plan could have countered this. No armed citizen could end this early. Only after the shots were fired and SWAT arrived did the killer chose to end his life. He was a real-life supervillian carrying out his maniacal plot.

Just as the attack showed the worst that humans are capable of, the online and political response are showing that many politicians, “journalists”, and celebrities, plus your average Internet user, are insensitive. The trolls are pouring out of the woodwork, blaming Nevada Carry and anything and everything related to our sacred right for Sunday night’s tragedy. Many from the UK have sent emails laying personal blame at our feet or suggestions that show a tragic lack of knowledge about guns, violence, and evil.

One ghoul insisted that our liberal gun laws (intended to maximize where you can protect yourself) were at fault. “Hey, look at Nevada. You can open carry in a bar!” Totally not germane to this incident, tasteless, and frankly, it could have helped in Orlando. When you have no argument, but you have an agenda, you take cheap shots. Open carry is not at issue here. No reasonable measure, legal or otherwise, could have prevented this. All the gun control, mag cap bans, and assault weapon regulations didn’t help in California.

Many people are unable to process how such evil can exist and to console themselves, lash out angrily at any available scapegoat. How do you understand the complex? How can you fathom bottomless evil? These emotional eggshells need to vent the sadness they cannot fathom because they have no other internal mechanism to deal with what they are feeling. Guns and gun rights advocates take the brunt of this pain because we support the right to own dual-use items. Items that can be used by evil men, true, but have also safeguarded individual lives and national freedom.

I understand.

Things like heated political rhetoric in the media, the violent ideology of Islam, mental illness, acid, trucks, or immigration are harder topics to personalize and relate to the cause of terrorism and violence. Unable to understand the nuances, these emotionally fragile individuals go after those who “everyone” says it is okay to blame; gun owners. It’s okay, we can take it. We just feel sorry for them. We all hurt in different ways.

The media should know better, however. Every request for an interview I have gotten was about Nevada gun laws; specifically machine guns and magazine capacity. Wrong track entirely; this was about the evil in a human heart, not machinery. In Europe, since guns are banned, we see truck/van attacks, acid assaults, and knife sprees. But even there, the Paris terrorists who massacred the crowds inside the Bataclan theater obtained illegal weaponry. Where there is a will, there is a way. Talking about limiting the amount of acid that can be purchased to stem acid attacks is dumb.

But it’s not about gun laws or “understanding” them. Many Europeans have written me to tell me that guns are the problem (in not so nearly polite or succinct terms). No, like Muslim terror in Europe which is seeking murder by any method, the problem is human. One outlet asked me to “debate” Nevada gun laws; no thank you. Screaming at each other is not how a Briton understands American gun laws and that nothing could have prevented this. We’re happy to inform, but not to argue or provide scapegoats. The media has not been responsible when it comes to fairly representing gun owners.

Countless examples of the media being insensitive are all over Facebook and Twitter. Politicians immediately jumped on the gun control bandwagon. It’s too early to know for sure, but no amount of gun control could have prevented this. Literally nothing reasonable could have stopped this from happening until the SWAT team forced the killer to end his life. Using this to politicize and market gun control is despicable. Politicians have no shame and few actually care about your safety. We don’t need to talk about this, we know the truth already.

For those who still wonder, particularly inquiring international minds that truly want to know, we’ll answer a few questions/statements.

What if he used a suppressor/silencer, as Hillary Clinton tweeted shamefully? Did anyone ask Hillary how our laws against murder prevented this?  People would still have noticed the massive amount of gun fire pouring down on them and heard the bullets’ impact. Also, suppressors only moderate the sound by about 30db, meaning the shots would still be 100db plus. Where can you run when there is nowhere to run?

Machine guns are legal in the United States and anyone eligible to own a firearm can obtain one, if they have the money. True military assault rifles cost tens of thousands of dollars. All legal machine guns are registered and require a background check (with photo and fingerprints) that currently takes six months to a year to pass before one obtains the gun. A $200 tax is required as well. Any competent machinist can modify a weapon, or build one outright, to be fully automatic. Even pulling a trigger rapidly can result in a 300-400 rounds per minute rate of fire.

“No concealed carrier could have prevented this.” In many other events, had an armed citizen been present, the shooting may have been stopped early. This was certainly the case at the Kentucky church last weekend where an usher ran to his car, grabbed his gun, and held the killer at gunpoint. Consistently, we see armed citizens stopping these events or the killer committing suicide when police arrive. Even Sunday’s monster killed himself when SWAT arrived. Not in this event, but in some, citizen carriers can and have saved lives.

“The gun helped.” Yeah, no s---. We accept the trade-off in America. At least 100,000 Americans every year use guns to stop or prevent a crime. I bet lots of people would be alive in Marseille if France had outlawed and confiscated anything larger than a Mini Cooper. How many people would howl if commercial trucks were banned for safety’s sake?  Unless we want to ban every harmful substance (including alcohol) and bubble-wrap the world, everything is dangerous.

More metal detectors and security theater aren’t the answer. Casinos actively banning or throwing out concealed carriers just makes it more dangerous for people on the Strip, where tourists, workers, and residents are regularly targeted by criminals for more pedestrian crimes. Keeping self-defense pistols out of the hands of ordinary, law-abiding citizens to seem like one is “doing something” will help nothing. This wasn’t a guy with a pistol, this was a man who turned a hotel room into a killing center. Open carry and average folks with guns aren’t the problem. Evil happens and we are often powerless to prevent it.

What does 10 rounds or 30 rounds matter if the death penalty or execution aren’t a deterrent? Machine gun killers are as rare as the guy with armored bulldozer who went on an unstoppable rampage. Men smart enough to plan this kind of atrocity can find ways around restrictions. More gun control won’t do a thing. In Australia, the Port Arthur massacre spurred gun control laws, but the Monash University still happened. In the UK, the Dunblane massacre brought more laws, but in 2010, Cumbria faced a similar situation. Again, what did California’s laws do to mitigate the losses in San Bernardino?

The only sensible precautions are to avoid large events like this and to get medical training. First-aid skills and equipment specifically to treat traumatic injuries like gunshots is vitally important in events like this. We will no doubt hear stories of off-duty EMTs, nurses, doctors, etc. treating victims with whatever was at hand like belt tourniquets. Carrying an Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) everywhere on your body isn’t paranoia after this.

Las Vegas has faced mass horror like this before. When the original MGM burned, we survived as a city, an industry, and a people. There is not much that can be done about a psychotic sniper, but perhaps, as humans and as a nation, we can learn something about evil and how to respond and react during a tragedy like this.

What can you do? Give blood and continue to give blood. I donate regularly, do you?
Get first-aid and advanced medical/EMT training. Don’t just learn to shoot.
Love your family, friends, neighbors, and countrymen. We’ve got a heart problem and hate and divisiveness will only make things worse.