I’m alive….

just not keeping ahead of the work to be done.

And the cold just makes me want to curl up in bed under a couple dozen blankets

Local Media Getting It Right

Very impressed with Tim Ryan and Fox4 — the details and knowledge of the Concealed Handgun License and applicable laws is well presented.

 

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Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com
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This action and the statement on the news station website show why I don’t go to AMC Theaters for the most part.

 

AMC Theatres

For the safety of our guests and associates, we do not permit weapons in our theatres. However, we welcome off-duty officers as guests at AMC and they are exempt from this policy with official identification. Based on the information we’ve received, the guest did not show an official department identification card and our theatre team properly enforced this policy. We have reached out to the guests to discuss the situation directly with them.
AMC Theatres (to use their spelling) are a private enterprise. They are free to prohibit concealed carry on their property; although as a public accommodation, I could make a case otherwise. I won’t. I’ll just abide by their wishes as much as I can and not patronize them.
I do think this is a step forward when the media gets the facts and the law down as well as Tim Ryan did. Good job sir.

Scattered Thoughts on Kolbe Decision

Random Thoughts from the  Kolbe Decision.

Assuming that recent sales have increased the number of assault weapons in the
current civilian market to nine million, such weapons would represent about three percent of the civilian gun stock.

 

Let’s see — 12,000 homicides with all firearms around 475,000 firearm related violent crimes per year according to the Bureau for Justice Statistics. Even if every homicide and firearm related violent crime was accomplished by a separate gun owner (estimated around 46,000,000) that means rounding up for easier math 500,000 divided by 46,000,000 times 100 to express as a percentage — 1.09% of all gun owners were involved in a homicide or firearm related crime ! Half the percentage of gun owners.

Even if we estimate firearm at the low side of 270,000,000 — that would be 0.019% of all firearms being used in a crime each year. Heck even if every gun crime was committed by ‘an assault weapon” (9,000,000 per the decision) that is still only 5.55% of all the assault weapons being used in a crime each year. What does she think that other 94.45 % are being used for?

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Further, although the court recognizes the need to build proficiency with a firearm for the purposes of hunting or self-defense, there has been no indication from the Supreme Court that competitive marksmanship in itself is a purpose protected by the Second Amendment.

Oh, Joy….look at that. The court recognizes the need to be proficient but that competitive marksmanship — a sport that predates the founding of our country isn’t protected.

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Continue Reading

2 Trouble Spots – Half Way Around the World Apart

First location is ‘near’ most of us:

Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) — Late night protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting death of Michael Brown, dispersed after bottles flew at officers, who answered with tear gas, police said Wednesday.

Protesters gathered in the St. Louis suburb for a fourth day and shouted at police officers.

“Don’t shoot!” they said, holding up signs protesting Brown’s killing. “No justice, no peace!”

Blocks away from where the protests took place, there were two shootings. But police do not believe the violence was related to the protests.

4 Days of violence and unrest. Minor by comparison to what is happening half way around the world in Iraq.

(CNN) — In an exodus of almost biblical proportions, thousands trudge across a river to escape killers belonging to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Entire families carry nothing but the clothes on their back. Some are barefoot. And not everyone who set out on the arduous journey survived.

Jamal Jamir, a 23-year-old university student from Sinjar, told CNN his family fled into the barren and windswept Sinjar Mountains more than a week ago after ISIS captured their town. They spent days on the mountain, desperately waiting for air drops of food and water.

The family then escaped the mountain on foot, and made a marathon 15-hour journey to Syria. We met them as they crossed a bridge back into Kurdish-controlled Iraq.

What do they have in common? The fact that the ‘state’ either can not or will not protect the individuals. The police in Ferguson Missouri eventually tried to stop the looting Sunday Night; but to do that they pulled nearly every officer in the city and surrounding cities.

This is where the “individual ”  portion of the right to keep and bear arms is most acutely displayed — self defense. Individuals may be caught up as a victim of the rioting, they may be required to defend their homes, business or self against one or more people. The ability, skills and equipment needed to do so have to be protected so that groups can be formed to react to larger problems.

Think of how easy it would be for a mob to form in front of or around an Amory and keep the militia from accessing armament to respond to the problem. This is why Law Enforcement started carrying rifles and shotguns in their cars.

When ISIS approached their town, Jamir and his family fled to the Sinjar Mountain, where they spent days camping and desperately waiting for aid. The family finally escaped on foot.

A senior Kurdish official estimated that as many as 70,000 people remain trapped on Mount Sinjar, and that at least 100 have died so far from dehydration and the heat.

The situation in Iraq on the other hand is an example of the “Militia” side of the argument. 70,000 people remain trapped. Let’s go with just those numbers and not even consider how many people have already fled as refuges that could have been part of the solution.

70,000 people, let’s assume that half are kids. 35,000 people — let’s assume that half are women — and due to cultural reasons unwilling or not allowed to fight. 17,500 men left. Half too old or too young to fight — still leaves 8,500 men of fighting age. That would be nearly a force equal to an army division.

Even if half of them are willing to fight (4,250); that puts the strength at a short brigade strength wise or an over-sized regiment !

Estimates put the fighting strength of Isis in Syria and Iraq at around 7,000 but its numbers in Iraq appear to have been bolstered by other groups, including local Sunni militants and Ba’ath nationalists particularly in Tikrit. Despite claims that they have captured helicopters in Mosul, it seems unlikely they would be able to deploy them. Lightly armed with Toyota pickup technicals, RPGs and small arms, Isis has captured some armoured Humvees, although there are suggestions that some equipment has been sent back to Syria.

So they would have near parity or half the numbers of ISIS fighters in Iraq. Training and organization would be lacking by comparison but the defensive advantages would help compensate, right?

Even if fewer people were armed and fought – even with what American citizens generally own – semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, bolt action rifles and pump shotguns, think of the change in tactics and rate of advance it would make.

This is why the 2nd Amendment protects the right of the armed people to form a militia. Because the state can not or will not always be there to protect people.

Two different examples, two different situations entirely but both support the idea that the people should be

Tell Me Again, How People Don’t Need….

“High Capacity” magazines, AR-15 type rifles and militias. Carefully note the police response to the riot in Ferguson Missouri.

What began as a peaceful protest of the shooting of an 18-year-old unarmed black man by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb turned into what the town’s mayor called a “huge mess” as several businesses were looted and cars were vandalized.

A candlelight vigil was held Sunday evening in Ferguson, Mo. for Michael Brown, whom witnesses and authorities said was shot several times by an officer who had scuffled with the teen and another person. 

Afterward, some people looted a convenience store. Several other stores along a main road near the shooting scene were broken into and looted, including a check-cashing store, a boutique and a small grocery store.

People were seen carrying bags of food and toilet paper. TV footage showed streams of people walking out of a liquor store carrying bottles of alcohol, and in some cases protesters were standing atop police cars or taunting officers who stood stoic, often in riot gear.

The police stood by as people broke the law and stole property. The police “stood stoic” as the livelihood of others was taken.

Police Department

The Ferguson Police Department provides protection of life and property in Ferguson through the enforcement of laws and ordinances and assistance with emergency medical services.

Except where they could get hurt or further inflame tension……then you are on your own.

 

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said there were no reports of injuries but confirmed widespread property damage. “Right now I’m just worried about people, not property,” he said.

Not worried about property! So it is okay for rioters to loot as long as they aren’t hurting people physically? This is insane folks. The local government and law enforcement simply abandoned their responsibility.

 

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Brian Schellman, with the St. Louis County Police Department, said close to 300 police officers from at least 15 different departments were called to Ferguson when angry mobs began smashing windows, setting fires and looting businesses in the area.

Let that sink in for a moment also. Think carefully about the potential consequences and how it could impact other communities. 15 different departments sent officers to 1 city for one small/medium riot.

Now imagine if there were riots in multiple cities; would the police be able to protect individuals? Would they even been willing? This isn’t a slam on most cops; although it may seem that way. Most cops want to do the right thing and protect people but in some situations, like riots, we’ve seen them abandon people in order to maintain their own safety.

Day 1
The riots happened quickly. Liquor stores, chain stores, fast-food places, and white people were the main targets of looting, fire, and violence. On the first day of the riots, the most infamous event took place. Reginald Denny, a white truck driver, was crossing Florence and Normandie. He was pulled out of his car by Damian Williams, a resident of the area. He was severely beaten while a helicopter recorded the incident. Williams took a piece of concrete and slammed it against Denny’s head and then celebrated. Denny barely survived. The police were withdrawn from South Central, and the 110 Freeway was closed from Century to King. The media concentrated on this attack throughout the riots. They did not report that Fidel Lopez, an immigrant from Guatemala, suffered similar brutality.

Day 2
The riots were more organized and South LA began to burn. Korean store owners came to defend their stores and had gunbattles with rioters. There were not any police or National Guard present at this point as LA burned.

Day 3
Rodney King was put on TV and asked LA, “can we all get along?” People could not at this point. The police and National Guard continued to let the city burn as a huge power outage hit South Central.

Day 4 and 5
The National Guard enters South Central and begins to restore order. There are random areas of violence for days on end.

Result
In the end, 53 people were killed, most all were rioters or innocent victims. Over $1 billion in damages were done. People rioted because of the built up anger and frustration of recent events.

 

And that isn’t the only time it’s happened. The police in New Orleans mostly abandoned the city — where they didn’t join in the looting.

Negro cops joining other Negroes/blacks/African-Americans in looting and pillaging New Orleans in the aftermath of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina.

Negro cops joining other Negroes/blacks/African-Americans in looting and pillaging New Orleans in the aftermath of the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina.

Those who say the “militia is outdated, antiquated, no longer in use” should look to see how the people in L.A. and New Orleans responded. They should look to the fact that looting is usually countered by the people working together. On the whole people do respond well in emergencies; working together to rescue people, to clean up an area. And to respond to those who would commit crimes.

 

Reality keeps showing how flimsy the anti-rights cultists arguments really are; Don’t fall for them. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is just as vital now as it was 200 years ago.

 

Please Join the Discussion.

When Is A Person NOT in the Militia?

Over at Catskil Bob’s Blogosphere, we’ve been having a lively discussion regarding the meaning of the 2nd Amendment – part 1 and part 2. Among other things.

One of the normal anti-rights cultists argument is the “Collective” argument; that the right to keep and bear arms is only something that can be exercised as part of a greater group. Another is the “Militia Only”; that the right to keep and bear arms is only related to the militia and not to an individual’s self defense.

I’ve been trying to come up with a way of framing the issue that makes sense to me and might make sense to those advancing those arguments. So I’m going to purpose a series of hypothetical situations and ask you, my 7 loyal readers, to tell me when the rights of that apply to the “collective/militia” do not apply to the individual.

Scenario #1 —

A Militia unit has been called up, put into uniform  and thrown into battle. The enemy has overran its position and killed all but 1 person.

Scenario #2

In the midst of a battle, an uniformed member of the militia is separated from his unit and is surrounded by the enemy. 

Scenario #3

As part of an offensive, an uniformed member of the militia is sent out alone to scout enemy positions on the battle field.

Scenario #4

As a part of an upcoming offensive, a member of the militia is sent out in civilian clothes to scout enemy positions in a city or town.

Scenario #5

On the way to the front, an uniformed member of the militia is traveling alone. The person is attacked by elements of the enemy forces.

Scenario #6

On the way to the rally point, a member of the militia is attacked by the enemy.

Scenario #7

A member of the militia is at home, just completing a conversation that included a call up to action. The enemy breaks down the door and attacks the member.

Scenario #8

The enemy has obtained a list of militia members and ambushes one of them prior that that person finding out the militia has been called up.

Scenario #9

The enemy has started an active campaign and a person decides to fight with the militia. On the way to the recruiting point, that person is attacked by the enemy.

Scenario #10

The enemy has started an active campaign by assaulting and killing people. A person is in their home unaware of the events.

Scenario #11
A person notices troubling trends and decides in order to stop the enemy that a militia has to be formed. After announcing the intention, the person becomes a target of the enemy in order to stop the formation of the militia.

So does a person have to make a formal declaration, don a uniform, etc in order to be considered part of the militia? That seems to be the argument many anti-rights cultists make, isn’t it?

Of course they are forgetting the legal definition according to federal law.

10 U.S. Code § 311 – Militia: composition and classes

(a) The militia of the United States consists of all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard. (b) The classes of the militia are—

(1) the organized militia, which consists of the National Guard and the Naval Militia; and

(2) the unorganized militia, which consists of the members of the militia who are not members of the National Guard or the Naval Militia

Emphasis mine, because it really makes the point that every adult male 17 to 45….and given the federal laws against gender bias, age bias, etc — how long before that definition gets changed again, eh.

The point I’m trying to make is in order to be an active participant in the militia, a person has to survive long enough to get there. That is one of the reasons why the 2nd Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Because otherwise the opposition could pick off individuals with immunity and stop the militia from forming.

Or they could claim that an individual not found in a group is not part of the militia and therefore has no protection as afforded by the 2nd Amendment.

So –is a person protected in all scenarios or just down to a particular one. Please join the discussion.

Intimidation v. Fear

The Inigo Montoya line keeps running through my mind every time someone talks about how Open Carry — and for some anti-rights cultists Concealed Carry — talk about how it is “intimidating”

 

Inigo Montoya - You keep using that word "Intimidate" I don't think it means what you think it means

 

 

Let’s look at the definitions and see if it makes sense or I’m completely off base. Please and I mean this, let’s talk about this.

in·tim·i·date

[in-tim-i-deyt]

verb (used with object), in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing.

1.to make timid; fill with fear.
2.to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.
3.to force into or deter from some action by inducing fear: to intimidate a voter into staying away from the polls.

Look carefully at those definitions and see that for the most part action is required on the part of the person — “to make”, “to force”. Intimidation requires action, deliberate action on the part of the person doing it.
On the other hand, the definition of fear better covers what happens; a person decides or experiences a feeling based on their own mental state.

fear

[feer]

noun

1.a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. Synonyms: foreboding, apprehension, consternation, dismay, dread, terror, fright, panic, horror, trepidation, qualm. Antonyms: courage, security, calm, intrepidity.
2.a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: an abnormal fear of heights. Synonyms: phobia, aversion; bête noire, bogy, bogey, bugbear. Antonyms: liking, fondness, penchant, predilection.
3.concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.
4.reverential awe, especially toward God: the fear of God. Synonyms: awe, respect, reverence, veneration.
5.something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension; something a person is afraid of: Cancer is a common fear.

No deliberate action is required on the part of the other party, e.g. the Open Carry advocate.For some people this will be a distinction without meaning; intimidation or fear results in the same thing they’ll say; that people do not want to see firearms in public.

 

And this is one of the biggest issues I have with pro-rights advocates decrying Open Carry. In pushing against Open Carry of long guns they are making the exact same argument as the antis!

Think about it carefully and you’ll see what I mean. How many times has an anti argued they shouldn’t have to be any place where people have guns. That the mere presence of firearms makes them uncomfortable.

How many times have we’ve seen some pro-2nd Amendment advocate say “If I see someone walk in with a rifle, I’m going to get ready draw” or worse “I’ll assume the Open Carrier is about to shoot up the place and confront him”. Just for the mere presence of a firearm??? Really folks.

 

 

Oh, I understand the thought process that goes behind it — A pistol is what you use to fight to your rifle, right? But isn’t that a mindset that we gun owners have created. Or stolen from the military?

Does the general public really see any difference between a rifle carried in public and a pistol openly carried in public?

Frankly, I’ve seen a lot of people on “our side” talking about how Long Gun Open Carry “scares” the public but I’ve failed to see the direct media reports from people there at the events saying they were afraid. Time and time again the reports of “people being afraid” come long after the fact by people who weren’t there (Looking at you Moms Demanding Attention) or were completely fabricated (Fort Worth Police Department, can you explain ala Jack In The Box).

 

 

I want to make sure I’m very clear here. I support Open Carry and the activism going on in Texas. I don’t support the continued carrying in restaurants, not because I think it is wrong, but because that activity was so easily turned against us.

 

But I also think we need to very strongly and solidly support people Openly Carrying Long guns because failing to do so will provide leverage for the antis. Just because something makes a person uncomfortable or fearful is no reason to curtail the exercise of a right. From Nudity to Open Carry– folks grow up and deal with it. There are things we should make socially unacceptable because they are harmful to society but the vast majority of things are simply “I don’t want to see because it makes me feel icky” — as in this example.

 

 

We need to let people know their fear of an inanimate object or people exercising their rights is not a sufficient reason to stop that person from doing so. Maybe this hits home especially for me due to personal experience.

 

I was in college at the local junior college when on two separate occasions (years apart) I was told by two different female students that my mere physical size (6’2″ and 190# at the time) “intimidated” them. Both agreed that I had not acted untoward (I try to be a gentleman), that I had not crowded them or intruded into their personal space, acted hostile or anything else. Just that my physical size intimidated them.

Now this was two class mates out of hundreds so I took it with a grain of salt but it stuck with me and continues to be something I’m aware of. It is also appropriate to the discussion — should I have not gone to school because someone was fearful, should I have changed my schedule based on the 1 in a 100 reaction? Absolutely not, it was their issue to deal with. I’m not trying to be cold blooded here but they simply needed to deal with it.

 

 

And this is exactly how some people see Open Carry, it is exactly how some people see Concealed Carry — ‘Oh…the presence of a gun ‘intimidates’ me; you have to stop what you are doing’.

 

Because the next time they make that statement it might be “Anyone except for the police owning a firearm intimidates me; we need to ban all guns”

Please join the discussion.