The etymology of Molon Labe

Clayton Cramer quotes from a scholarly article about the origins of the Molon Labe phrase on a new handgun.  

Sat Jul 27 18:54:00 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Slate rethinks gun control

... They are basing their rethink on recent research from the Obama administration that was actually a little bit honest.  MA-rooned has a detailed look at that study.  But let's go through their talking points one by one:
1. The United States has an indisputable gun violence problem. According to the report, "the U.S. rate of firearm-related homicide is higher than that of any other industrialized country: 19.5 times higher than the rates in other high-income countries."
The US rates of overall homicide, not just firearm-related, are much more in line with other nations, and the comparison gets even better when you consider overall violent crime rather than just homicides.  Are you better off being killed with a knife than with a gun?  No.
3. We have 300 million firearms, but only 100 million are handguns. According to the report, ?In 2007, one estimate placed the total number of firearms in the country at 294 million: ?106 million handguns, 105 million rifles, and 83 million shotguns.? ? This translates to nearly nine guns for every 10 people, a per capita ownership rate nearly 50 percent higher than the next most armed country. But American gun ownership is concentrated, not universal: In a December 2012 Gallup poll, "43 percent of those surveyed reported having a gun in the home."
The 43% number is still likely low.  How many of the people responding to the poll didn't know whether their spouse had a gun?  How many said "None of your business" and hung up?
6. Gun suicide is a bigger killer than gun homicide. From 2000 to 2010, "firearm-related suicides significantly outnumbered homicides for all age groups, annually accounting for 61 percent of the more than 335,600 people who died from firearm-related violence in the United States," says the report. Firearm sales are often a warning: Two studies found that "a small but significant fraction of gun suicides are committed within days to weeks after the purchase of a handgun, and both also indicate that gun purchasers have an elevated risk of suicide for many years after the purchase of the gun."
Suicide is means-independent.  If you want to kill yourself, you'll find a way to do it.  A firearm is one of the easier and more certain ways to manage it, but you can jump off a bridge, set yourself on fire, or drive your car into something solid at high speed.  If you don't want to kill yourself, but just want to make a sick cry for help and attention from those around you, you'll know not to use a firearm.  Given both those facts, I don't see suicide by firearm as a bad choice to have.  Which doesn't mean suicide itself is a good choice, of course.
9. Denying guns to people under restraining orders saves lives. "Two-thirds of homicides of ex- and current spouses were committed [with] firearms," the report observes. "In locations where individuals under restraining orders to stay away from current or ex-partners are prohibited from access to firearms, female partner homicide is reduced by 7 percent."
There are a couple points to be made here.  First, this is current federal law -- any domestic violence restraining order triggers a firearms prohibition.  I'm not sure what the study means by saying "in locations where...", but either this is "everywhere in the US" or they have some additional criteria.  Second, this is not a cost-free result.  These domestic violence restraining orders are handed out like candy in divorce cases, without noticeable due process of law, and this can create significant legal issues for peaceful people who happen to own guns and get divorced.  Third, those restraining orders can go both ways -- if both parties to a messy divorce get a restraining order against the other, the woman's ability to defend herself is reduced a lot more than the man's.

Sat Jul 27 18:48:25 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Surveillance annoys liberals, too

"If you go back and look at candidate Obama's statements about whistleblowers and civil liberties, breaches of freedom and privacy under the past administration, you'd have a hard time saying Candidate Obama would agree with President Obama on this," Jilani said. "Within six hours of the whistleblower being outed, they were already talking about a criminal probe. They weren't talking about any internal investigation of the NSA's conduct or abuses of the Patriot Act."
I think a lot of people voted for Obama hoping he would fix these problems.  Instead, he's made them worse.  That was fine so long as the programs were secret.  Now that it's out in the open, it's a problem for liberals who actually believe in freedom. 

Sat Jul 27 18:47:32 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Harassment versus Routine Scrutiny

The left has been claiming that some of their groups were "targeted" by the IRS as well.  It's an obvious case of "me-too" intended to obscure the political targeting that swung the 2012 election.  Read the whole thing.

The IRS inspector general whose report broke this story has verified that liberal groups were not targeted:
The inspector general stressed that 100 percent of the groups with "Tea Party," "patriots" and "9/12" in their name were flagged for extra attention, while only 30 percent of the groups with "progress" or "progressive" were highlighted as potentially political. George?s letter does not say why the progressive groups were given extra scrutiny.

"While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that 'progressives' was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention," George wrote to Levin, the top Democrat on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee.

Sat Jul 27 18:40:44 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Government surveillance ruled unconstitutional... and the ruling is kept secret

Tab clearing from June.  A court ruling in 2011 found NSA surveillance to be unconstitutional, but the ruling was kept secret.

Sat Jul 27 18:40:04 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

How to hide your political bias in a government job

The 14 BOLO lists Levin released, though they contain the term "Progressive," instruct IRS screeners to treat the applications of progressive organizations differently from those of tea-party groups. In George?s words, the "Progressive" entry "did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria," whereas tea-party cases were automatically sent to higher-ups in the agency for coordination with Washington, D.C. The "Occupy" entry to which Cummings refers instructs screeners to send cases to the same group processing tea-party applications. The head of that group, though, told Congress that when she received applications from liberal groups, she sent them back to "general inventory." George on Thursday told the House panel that, of the 298 cases scrutinized for political activity, zero fell under the "Occupy" rubric. The "Progressive" and "Occupy" listings may be problematic -- it is not clear why the terms were added to the list -- but the political activity of liberal groups simply was not put under the microscope.
Put them all on the list, so the list looks fair, but treat them differently. 

Sat Jul 27 18:37:56 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

What can you do if the government targets you for a drone strike?

Generally, the courts should not get involved in second-guessing wartime decisions...
Today, a federal judge heard the Department of Justice's argument about why Al-Awlaki, the ACLU, and the CCR couldn't challenge the US killing of Al-Awlaki, his son, and Khan. The government argued that its killing of US citiziens was "extraordinary" and not a regular occurrence, and that the courts did not have a place in reviewing those security decisions. The judge found that argument "troubling," pointing out the America was "a nation of laws." Nevertheless, she has not yet made a ruling on the government's motion to dismiss.
... but when we're talking about targeted strikes on specific, identifiable US citizens, that's a bit more questionable, isn't it?  And let's not lose sight of the fact that there was a case brought before the strike.

Sat Jul 27 18:37:42 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Why do gun owners oppose the CDC's gun research?

We recently saw a study from the Center for Disease Control on guns that laughably attempts to treat violent crimes with guns as a communicable disease.  That's the first we've heard from them on that topic in a while, due to a budget rider that prohibits that agency from spending money on gun control research.  In order to understand why that rider was in place, though, we have to look at what sort of "gun violence research" is produced by so-called public health organizations. 

A useful example comes from the Fall 2008 issue of "Johns Hopkins Public Health".  It is little more than another in a long line of attempts to address guns as a "public health issue" by invoking the supposed authority of doctors to trump common sense.  Let's begin with one of their most laughable claims:
Still, the Center is an evidence-based research effort, not an advocacy group; its faculty are not attempting to overturn the constitutional right to bear arms. "We're an academic institution that can't exist by selling snake oil," says Webster. "We're not out raising money for some political cause."
If they really were an evidence-based effort, they would know about the CDC's comprehensive survey of actual gun control laws that found absolutely no measurable effect from any of them.  The CDC is not exactly known as a pro-gun organization, in fact, it has engaged in biased research in the past.  That survey was conducted with the deliberate intent of finding some gun control laws, somewhere, with a demonstrable success rate in reducing gun violence. 

If you are still wondering whether or not they are an advocacy group, the article quotes "researchers" at the Center for Gun Policy and Research -- surely an unbiased group, with a name like that! -- which is part of the Bloomberg School.  You may be familiar with the name Bloomberg; he's the New York Mayor behind "Mayors Against Illegal Guns".  Unbiased science?  Unlikely.
Yet surveys show that many Americans, even gun owners, are in favor of stricter ownership regulations and better safety devices for firearms. "The Center polled some 2,400 people for a study we published in 1998 in the New England Journal of Medicine," says Teret, "and the majority were in favor of expanded restrictions, and for regulating the design of guns to make them safer."
Those would be the same surveys that don't bother to inform the people taking them what the current gun laws are.  When you ask those same people whether they support the 2nd Amendment -- which states that the right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed", a statement that doesn't seem to permit much in the way of "expanded restrictions" -- you get very strongly positive results as well.

The basic fact is that most people aren't experts on gun laws and don't consider guns a pressing issue either way.  They may or may not own a gun; probably a clear majority of households own at least one even if a minority of individuals do.  They may or may not be in favor of more gun control laws, but it's the same sort of answer you get when you ask someone whether they prefer teddy bears or ponies.  They don't care.  You'll get some sort of answer because it's easy to have an opinion, but they won't vote on the issue.  The people who are willing to vote on gun control are gun owners, and they will vote in large numbers, while the anti-gun vote is astroturf all the way down.

Now let's step back and moment and ask why a supposedly scientific study is talking about poll numbers.  (Hint: it's not a scientific study at all).
WHEN A COMMUNITY knows that its water and land are being poisoned by effluent from a chemical factory, or its air is being rendered foul by smokestacks, it goes after those polluters to protect the health of its people. The approach taken by the epidemiologists, public health experts and lawyers at the Center for Gun Policy and Research is the same: "Where are these guns coming from? It's not like they spontaneously generated in the forest?  'Oh look, a baby gun!'" says Stephen Teret, JD, MPH '79.  "The loading docks of the gun manufacturers are the point sources of this pollution." Adds Teret, who founded the Center in 1995 and is now an associate dean at the Bloomberg School, "There are some segments of the American population where the number one cause of death is gunfire. That's a major public health problem."
"When a community knows that its water and land are being poisoned..." Really?  Really?  Guns are not like pollution.  Guns are harmless mechanical devices.  They don't emit mind control rays to create violence.  They are tools.  People have intent, and when people use tools with ill intent, they can cause harm.  That is the same for guns as it is for hammers, screwdrivers, knives, cars, and airplanes.

This is a pretty transparent attempt to get environmentalists on board with gun control.
As abundant evidence shows, it is very hard to keep Americans from shooting one another (or themselves), either on purpose or accidentally. The problem is easy access to guns that are easily used. Take accidental shootings by children: "Parents think they can teach their kids to handle guns responsibly," Webster explains, "but the data say otherwise. Homes with guns in them are more dangerous than homes without guns. Unintended shootings and suicide are much more common. A gun is a pretty darn difficult thing for a kid or adolescent to not want to hold."
Actually, the data shows that parents can teach their children to handle guns responsibly.  Gun accidents are very rare.  It is more dangerous to have a swimming pool than to have a gun

Homes with guns in them may be more dangerous than homes without guns -- but they were likely that way before the gun arrived, because people in dangerous neighborhoods buy guns to protect themselves.  The gun is often a response to the danger, not the source of the danger.  Moreover, studies in that area usually don't bother to consider the lives saved by using a gun in self-defense without killing the attacker.  Those lives aren't counted, but they matter.

Suicides are tragic, but don't depend on the availability of guns and won't be stopped or even significantly reduced if guns are banned.

As for unintended shootings, it's pretty hard to have an unintended shooting without a gun.  That's a completely meaningless comparison.
Teret knows firsthand this tragic truth. In 1982, the 2-year-old son of his close friends was shot and killed by a 4-year-old who had found a loaded, unlocked pistol in a nightstand.
Unbiased scientific researchers!

Statisticians have a saying: the plural of anecdote is not data.  But, since we aren't dealing with scientists, anecdotes appear to be fair game.
IN NOVEMBER 2005, New York Police Department Officer Dillon Stewart was shot and killed after trying to pull over a car that had run a red light. The next month, NYPD Officer Daniel Enchautegui was shot and killed by two robbers
Do you think those police officers had guns?  Would they be happier if Bloomberg announced he was going to help prevent gun violence in New York City by taking away their guns?  No.  They would still be dead.  Their guns did not save them, but neither would taking away their guns, because they were shot by criminals who don't obey laws.
Mayor Bloomberg has always been a big fan of data. Prior to taking public office, he made his fortune through Bloomberg L.P.'s financial data computer terminals.
Those would be the terminals he could use to spy on the activities of people trading with them?

Webster, Vernick and Teret developed a seven-page guide called "How Cities Can Combat Illegal Guns and Gun Violence." It detailed effective strategies (used by cities like Chicago and Detroit, for example), such as undercover stings and lawsuits against gun dealers, and examined how those strategies had worked.
Effective strategies like undercover stings and lawsuits against gun dealers?  Used by cities like Chicago (16.03 murders per 100,000 people) and Detroit (49 murders per 100,000 people)?  If that's what success looks like, I don't want to experience failure.
"The mission of the Center for Gun Policy and Research has never been limited to advancing our scientific understanding of gun violence," he says. "It's nice to see our work published in prestigious journals, but it can do far more good if we put it into the hands of people who can act on the research."
Journals, even public health journals, have pesky peer review standards and prefer to publish things that at least have a thin veneer of science over the political propaganda.  I'm not surprised that a research center funded by a prominent anti-gun politician and staffed by biased "researchers" has trouble getting even minimally respected scientific journals to publish their propaganda.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we don't allow the Center for Disease Control to pursue firearms research.

Sat Jul 27 18:18:04 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Britain wants to undo handgun ban

Tab clearing here.  This poll ran in May 20th:
While the poll continues, so far over 80 percent of the 11,000+ respondents [in the UK] have told the Telegraph that they want to see the handgun ban repealed. The news comes as America contemplates its own new laws on gun ownership, with British talk show host Piers Morgan claiming to back a UK-style ban for the United States.
The poll was run by a major UK newspaper and offered a number of different legislative suggestions.  In other words, it wasn't a joke poll, it was something that might actually have a chance of becoming law.

If you're wondering why on earth repealing the handgun ban in Great Britain would be so popular when the violent crime rate in the UK is so much better than ours, well... you should validate your assumptions before getting into a serious debate:

As a result, murders that have not been solved are not included. If indications in the Telegraph are correct, that would substantially reduce the homicide rate in itself. Murders that have resulted in an arrest but no conviction are not counted. Convictions that have not been appealed are apparently not counted. And the number of minorities reported as murder victims is far below either the demographics or of reason.

If the media reports of a total of 4,760 "violent fatalities of interest to the police" from 1 January 2011 to 30 November 2012 are correct, the murder rate is 4.7 per 100,000 population, the same as our much more inclusive homicide rate, and substantially higher than the United States murder rate.

Is it all starting to make sense now?  Good.

Sat Jul 27 16:34:28 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Obama's remarks on gun control

Tab clearing from March.  Yeah, I know, that's a long time. I'm trying to clear up the blog backlog before the backend switch.
Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country. But you -- the American people -- have spoken. You've made it clear that it's time to do something.
Never mind whether it works.  Never mind whether it makes the problem worse.  Never mind whether it prevents people from stopping an attack.  Never mind whether it costs someone's life.  We have to do something, and gun control is "something".
Two weeks ago, the Senate advanced a bill that would make it harder for criminals and people with a severe mental illness from getting their hands on a gun -- an idea supported by nine out of ten Americans, including a majority of gun owners.
It is already illegal for criminals and the mentally ill to have firearms, to buy firearms, or for an honest person to knowingly sell a firearm to.  It is already illegal for a dealer to sell a firearm without conducting a background check (yes, including at gun shows).

The legislation in the Senate would do much, much more than that, and most gun owners oppose that legislation because they know what is in it.

This is generally called "bait and switch".
The Senate also made progress on a bill that would crack down on anyone who buys a gun as part of a scheme to funnel it to criminals -- reducing violent crime and protecting our law enforcement officers.
This is called a straw purchase, and, yes, is already illegal.  Which presents sort of a problem for Obama, because his administration ran a scheme to funnel guns to Mexican drug cartels and US gangs.
Finally, the Senate took steps to reinstate and strengthen a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons, set a 10-round limit for magazines, and make our schools safer places for kids to learn and grow.
What does gun control have to do with making our schools safer?  Connecticut had an assault weapons ban in place when Newtown happened.  It did not stop the killer. 

Sat Jul 27 16:32:28 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Guns are like vicious maneating tigers roaming free in your home plotting to eat your tasty, tasty kids

Sometimes analogies are useful in understanding complex issues, but the analogy needs to be accurate. A flawed analogy will result in flawed understanding, as in this article:
Sally asks Suzy over for a play date. Suzy's mother learns through neighborhood gossip that Sally's family recently adopted a man-eating Bengal tiger named "Roscoe". Ignoring the advice from animal experts, Sally's parents have decided not to enroll the family in tiger training due to their busy schedules.
Instead of keeping this known killer in a cage, the family lets it roam freely in the house. Sometimes they put Roscoe behind closed doors when guests are over. However, 5-year-old Sally always seems to sneak her way into the forbidden room to show her classmates Roscoe's shiny teeth and sharp claws.

The problem is that Bengal tigers, man-eating or not, have the capability of independent action. A gun, on the other hand, is just a tool. It doesn't make decisions. It doesn't act on its own. It doesn't choose to eat small children.

(Read More...)

Sat Jul 27 16:30:22 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Cuban escapee supports gun rights

Tab clearing:

I have nothing to add.

Sat Jul 27 16:28:55 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Once is happenstance, twice coincidence... three times is enemy action

Just a reminder that Lois Lerner has been oppressing her political opponents in government positions for almost 20 years.

Sat Jul 27 16:28:40 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Settlement in tenant gun possession case

Tab clearing: in May 2013 a case concerning firearms possession by tenants in public housing settled due to repeal of the underlying law.  We are continuing to rack up wins due to Heller and MacDonald; don't forget to buy Alan Gura a beverage of his choice any time you happen to see him.

Sat Jul 27 16:28:23 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Bush AG defends PRISM

Tab clearing from June.  We don't have two different political parties anymore.  They both consider themselves rulers.

Sat Jul 27 16:28:06 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Warrantless DNA searches of arrestees

The Supreme Court on Monday [June 3rd 2013] upheld the police practice of taking DNA samples from people who have been arrested but not convicted of a crime, ruling that it amounts to the 21st century version of fingerprinting.

The ruling was 5-4. Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative, joined three of the court's more liberal members -- Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan -- in dissenting.

Remember, you've been technically "arrested" if you've been pulled over for speeding.  According to 5 of the nine justices -- not the usual mix, Scalia flipped sides on this one -- you can have DNA taken any time you are arrested.  For now, it's "for a serious offense", but felony inflation means everything is serious these days.

There are prior rulings that allow for those arrested for drunk driving to have blood samples forcibly taken without a warrant.  In those cases the samples are being taken for evidentiary purposes at trial; the DNA samples here are being taken for comparison against DNA evidence from other unsolved crimes and inclusion in a permanent database.

So why is this a bigger deal than, say, taking fingerprints? 

First of all, it's invasive -- not just the procedure itself, but the fact that the police retain a copy of (portions of) your DNA code.  We are only beginning to learn what information can be extracted from that information.  What seems like a simple identification procedure today could yield medical data, behavioral tendencies, relationships with other people, and all sorts of other data as our understanding grows.  Once the police have the sample, they can keep it as long as they want and extract whatever other information they want.

Second, like fingerprinting, DNA testing works best when applied to a simple test ("I have a DNA sample; does it match this suspect?").  When you move towards searching databases, the chances of false positives become higher as your database size grows.  Furthermore, the chance of an error on a DNA test does not depend only on the DNA material itself, but on the error rate of the human technicians performing the test.  (More information on DNA test error rates)

If you search a database of, say, all felons, the population remains small and relatively likely to engage in crime.  It does not seem unreasonable to expect someone who has been convicted and imprisoned to undergo testing in order to clear up other crimes they may have committed.  The chances of a false positive impacting the life of an innocent person is minimal because innocent people (barring judicial error) aren't in the database.

Here we're talking about people arrested -- not even convicted, just arrested -- of a serious crime.  We have a pretty high conviction rate once someone gets arrested, so that's not such a big deal.  But Chief Justice Roberts -- voting on the wrong side of this case -- wondered why the DNA testing procedure couldn't be applied to simple traffic stops.  The answer is of course it can; all it takes is someone to pass a law. 

It's probably fair to say that the vast majority of Americans will be stopped for a traffic violation at some point in their lives, and that means we're talking about a database with upwards of 300 million records -- and that's before you take into account duplicate records and technician errors.

So what is the error rate for a DNA test?

We don't know.

But we do know that it's an uncomfortably large number when you have a large enough population.  How large is uncomfortably large?  A single state's DNA database produced 122 matching pairs of DNA at 9 of 13 loci, and twenty pairs that matched at 10 loci. 

That's a lot of people out of a test population containing only 65,000 people (Arizona felons) total.  We would have to be absolutely insane to trust the test results on a database of 300 million innocent people.

Sat Jul 27 16:27:14 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Petition to repeal NY SAFE Act

June 11th, 2013: 150,000 signatures delivered to Governor Cuomo of New York calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act (gun control law).

Sat Jul 27 16:26:48 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

CDC study on gun control released

This is the first result of Obama's early 2013 executive order on gun control research.  The legality is questionable, as Congress has banned the CDC from spending money on gun control research.  As for the actual results, it's less a study with conclusions than a study requesting funding for more studies.  In order to worm their way around the funding limitations in place, and to pretend that the topic was even a little bit within their area of expertise, they had to treat gun violence as a communicable disease.  That should make it pretty obvious that the whole exercise has little connection with reality.

The study itself is here.

Joe has some preliminary thoughts on the glaring flaws.

Sat Jul 27 16:26:16 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

NSA surveillance demands

It's not just metadata they want.  Tech companies are claiming to be more resistant to demands for passwords and backdoor access to encryption systems, but those of you with a memory for history -- specifically, under Clinton -- will know that they've already gotten backdoor access to a lot of the encryption systems run by companies big enough to pressure.  That was the whole point behind Pretty Good Privacy: it was open-source and thus not really susceptible to pressure to include secret backdoors as a US corporation would be.

Sat Jul 27 16:25:42 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Jeff Knox explains why enforcing current gun laws is a bad idea when the laws suck

Here's the conclusion:
As I have said before, while the rhetoric surrounding gun control always talks about targeting criminals and public safety, the reality is that enforcement of these laws is always aimed at regular gun owners whose only crime is believing that they are committing no crime.

The target of gun control isn't criminals, it's us. The objective of these laws is to make us criminals and make lawful gun ownership too difficult and dangerous to attempt.
He's right that a lot of the gun laws on the books are stupid, oppressive, or both.  The BATFE is not an agency fond of puppies and cute kittens.  We shouldn't invite full enforcement of laws designed to oppress us.

That doesn't mean we shouldn't point out when existing laws failed to stop a criminal, we just need to be careful about it.  "Gun control laws don't work" is a good line of argument.  "We need more enforcement of gun control laws" isn't.  "We need more enforcement of laws punishing violent crime" is a good line of argument when discussing a crime committed by a habitual criminal who should have been in jail due to prior criminal acts.

Sat Jul 27 16:20:59 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Explaining the NSA surveillance issue

For people who don't follow the news closely, or who aren't especially focused on details, PJ Media has a good explanation of what the NSA surveillance scandals are really about.

Sat Jul 27 16:08:16 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

DoJ admits smart guns don't exist

Why is this important?  Well, for one thing, anti-gun states either have or are trying to pass a law mandating that all guns sold in the state be smart guns as soon as the technology is commercially available.

So-called "smart" guns are a stupid idea.  You don't put unnecessary additional points of failure in a mechanical device intended to save your life.  If you carry a gun, or use one to defend yourself at home, you need it to go off when you pull the trigger.  You don't need to remember to wear your special ring or make sure you grip the gun in exactly the same way or worry about whether your hands are too dirty for the gun to read your fingerprints.

You don't go into a situation like that planning for what happens if your gun is taken away from you.  That's planning for failure.  Instead you plan to make sure your gun isn't taken away from you, something that can be done with much simpler technology.

Sat Jul 27 16:03:17 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Petition to protect Florida self-defense laws

A petition has been started to protect Florida's self-defense laws from being changed in the aftermath of the Zimmerman case.  2000 signatures so far.

Sat Jul 27 15:51:10 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

A DUI checkpoint recorded violating the fourth amendment

The fact that DUI checkpoints even exist violates the 4th Amendment.  But this video goes beyond that, and records police officers using driver's knowledge of his rights and a drug-sniffing dog as a pretext to justify searching his car.

We aren't supposed to have to put up with this in America.

Sat Jul 27 15:38:34 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

Ammoland points out that NICS checks are already recorded

Tab clearing from June.

This is one reason opposition to universal background checks is so strong.  Gun owners oppose any form of gun registration (because you need registration before you can begin a confiscation program) and we already know that the government can't be trusted to build a background check system that doesn't "accidentally on purpose" retain records, thus making it a partial registration system.

If that background check becomes universal, pretty soon you have a complete picture of everyone who has bought a gun in the government's computer system -- and to borrow a phrase, that's close enough to gun registration for government work.  It may not be complete but it will cover every legal gun owner who has purchased a gun from a store, and let's be honest, that covers most of us -- even people who inherited firearms from their parents or purchase most of our guns in legal private sales have generally bought at least one from a licensed dealer.

Sat Jul 27 15:32:32 CDT 2013 by TriggerFinger. Comments [Tweet]

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