Which Foot Is Legal?

gun free zones

One foot in this photo is in a legal concealed carry zone, while the other is in a gun free zone.

Make sense to you? Me neither.

Useless, pointless, ineffective and ill-conceived legislation gets people killed.

Write your congress leech.

The Chicken Little Diaries: Close Encounters of the Neighborly Kind

 

Food Lion Shooting Range-1

Last time, I relayed the first part of the Chicken Little Diaries: A Shooting Range Zoning Saga. It was about a neighborhood and town council reaction to the proposed opening of an indoor shooting range. This week, the saga continues…

Every neighborhood has one of “those guys”, right?

Ours is a very left-leaning political activist. He’s so far left-leaning that he regularly tips over while walking in counter-clockwise circles. He’s so active that we frequently see large numbers of alfalfa-powered adult trikes parked in front of his house.

At first, I assumed these were gatherings of the Sedona, Arizona fan club. You know, when they plan the annual communal building of a happy-thought-powered rainbow bridge connecting the local Whole Foods wheat grass juice bar and Brown University. Later I found out he’s really Mini-Me-Obama, in charge of the local political regime. You would think these political gatherings are harmless, but I nearly wrecked my bike the other day, almost rear ending a departing Prius with a low battery charge.

Anyway, one day after circumventing what I believe to be the local Venezuelan consulate here in our neighborhood, I exited my car, in my driveway, only to be approached by the aforementioned guy.

I knew he wanted to talk about some activist thing, and I was feeling particularly spunky, so I decided to engage. I’ve been assured by my esteemed Editorship over at Bearing Arms that any bail and/or legal fees directly related to my work are fully covered. It’s mentioned right after the clause guaranteeing that I can sign up for Obamacare on my own nickel. It’s all right there in my Bearing Arms contract. Umm, I do have a contract, right?

In the interest of education, and to see if I can actually make any readers physically nauseous just from reading, I’m recreating the ensuing conversation here to the best of my recollection. I was speaking with my neighbor the whole time, but given all the sound bites he as throwing my way, sometimes I wasn’t quite sure who I was talking to…

My Tilting Neighbor: I’m glad I caught you. Do you have a minute to talk?

Me: Oh, really? [I already knew why he was there, but couldn’t resist engaging in the discussion from scratch. I’m sorry. But not really.] Do you want to borrow alfalfa sprouts? Or a cup of wheat grass juice? No disrespect, but as I keep trying to tell you, I don’t have any hippie food. I eat bacon, wrapped in bacon. Usually with a side order of bacon.

Hugo Chavez: No, not that. Some other neighbors are signing a petition, and I wanted to see if you would sign it too.

Me: Oh? A petition to tear down the golf driving range and replace it with a clay target course? Great! Where do I sign?

Wolf Blitzer: Well, no. They want to build a shooting range in the old Food Lion store.

Me: That’s even better! I’d love to have one there! That old Food Lion never had ammo in stock anyway. Where do I sign?

Ted Kennedy’s Suit: Well actually some people are concerned about it.

Me: What, that it won’t be big enough? That’s okay, I’m sure we’ll find a way to manage. We can share and all that.

Susan Sarandon: Well actually, we’re concerned about the kind of people that type of business could attract.

Me: Oh. You mean people like me, my wife, my son, and my daughter?

Rachel Maddow: Well… We’re also concerned about children. There’s a dance school and a karate studio in the same strip mall. Children will be walking all around there. And people will have guns going back and forth to the shooting range.

Me: Whew, that’s a relief. I’ve been worried about all those kids walking around unprotected forever. Glad to see they’ll be safer now.

Timothy O’Leary: Umm, but we don’t want all those guns near all those children!

Me: You do realize that we live in South Carolina and 119% of the homes in our neighborhood already have guns, right?

Cher: (Blank look)

Me: So if one of the homes in our neighborhood has children in it and that home doesn’t have guns, that means the houses to the left right and behind all have multiple guns. And their guns have guns. I’m just sayin’.

Sean Penn: But what about the crime? Having a gun range so close by will be a crime risk!

Me: More than the Food Lion? The one that had an armed robbery just before it was closed by the health department? [Uncontrollable laughter] I guarantee you that parking lot will be the safest one within 20 miles of here.

Bill Maher: I hope you’re right…

Me: When was the last time you heard about an armed robbery in a gun store?

Cindy Sheehan: [Crickets…] Well, I ‘m guessing you won’t be signing the petition then?

Me: I’m guessing you don’t want to go to the range with me later?

UPDATE: The Town Council vetoed the indoor range as it required a zoning variance. But we get the last laugh. The space is already zoned appropriately for a retail gun store (without a range) and construction begins soon with a grand opening 90 days later.

Wait for the shrieks of panic. Wait for it…

Grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

Feds Target Firearms Businesses in Banking Crackdown

Image courtesy of GrandViewOutdoors.com

Image courtesy of GrandViewOutdoors.com

A recent initiative launched by the top government regulator of financial institutions to restrict access to credit services by businesses like porn shops, payday lenders and so-called “pyramid schemes” has expanded to ensnare gun stores and ammunition sales, Grandviewoutdoors.com has learned.

According to documents and interviews, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Justice have been working through a program dubbed “Operation Choke Point” to squeeze businesses the Obama Administration deems at “high risk” of committing fraud on their customers.

“Operation Choke Point [is] attempting to shut off the financial oxygen of what are called Third Party Payment Processors,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray told NRA News.  “What they do is remotely create checks to allow you to buy a product online or sometimes over the phone.”

In a document obtained by Grandviewoutdoors.com, the FDIC deems high-risk merchants and activities to include “get rich” products, pay day loans, home-based charities and credit repair services. The goal of Choke Point is to put banks that service these industries under additional scrutiny from federal regulators to make sure they’re not defrauding their customers.

But in a move that has alarmed many firearms retailers, the FDIC document also includes “ammunition sales” and “firearms/fireworks sales” as being potentially subject to Operation Choke Point’s mandates.

Read the rest at GrandView Outdoors!

 

The Chicken Little Diaries: A Shooting Range Zoning Saga

Presumably, some attendees donned life preservers as a protective measure. Because the discussion involved talking about guns!

Presumably, some attendees donned life preservers as a protective measure. Because the discussion involved talking about guns!

You remember the Chicken Little story, right? That was the one where a chicken went into apoplectic hysterics, causing premature delivery of a large egg which subsequently fell off a wall, injuring a large number of king’s men. I might have some of the details wrong, but the gist of the story is that it never pays to get hysterical about imagined scenarios with no basis whatsoever in fact.

Much to my amusement, I’ve got a real-life Chicken Little saga going on in my town. There’s an outdoor shopping center adjacent to my very suburban neighborhood, previously anchored by a Food Lion grocery store.

We all know how Food Lions tend to attract the classiest of customers. This particular one was so classy that four upstanding citizens (that I know of) are currently volunteering in the state rock-breaking facility for a period of not less than 15 years for armed robbery of said Food Lion. I think, because their quality standards were simply too high for even an affluent neighborhood, the store went out of business a few years ago, and the space remains empty.

Now, a fast growing firearms retailer, Palmetto State Armory, has expressed interest in opening a retail store and shooting range in the budget grocery store / armed robbery bait trap formerly known as Food Lion.

As you can imagine, the possibility of a shooting range moving in to replace the Food Lion is creating quite a stir in this relatively quiet community. At the first town planning committee meeting, a number of nearby residents expressed concern about the range being so close to a neighborhood. Comments from the public record include the following. Names have been redacted to protect those suffering from baseless hoplophobia.

“She suggested that this would not enhance the neighborhood and should not be located near any neighborhood.”

“He suggested that the shooting range should be located in a more secluded location away from residences and children.”

“stated that he is opposed to a shooting range, particularly because of safety for the public and child safety.”

“expressed concern with child safety.”

“expressed concern with child safety with a shooting range in proximity.”

“expressed concern with the potential sound issues associated with a shooting range and safety issues. She stated that they are a family business and expressed concern with having a shooting range in proximity.”

“She expressed concern with child safety…”

“expressed concern with the safety of the facility, particularly what would prevent stray bullets. She expressed concern with having the shooting range in a shopping center as opposed to a stand-alone building. She suggested that children should not be exposed to possible stray bullets and sales of ammunition.”

“expressed concern for child safety and the pedestrian path in proximity to the shopping center and amenity center. He expressed concern with carrying guns from the parking lot to the shooting range.”

“stated that she is opposed to the shooting range, particularly in proximity to a bar. She expressed concern with stray bullets and sale of ammunition. She stated that when the shopping center was established it was noted that it would not support bingo parlors and other uses such as a shooting range.”

I have to agree with some of these comments. Who in their right mind would want a bingo parlor near homes, families and pets? We all know those are notorious for violent senior citizen gang initiation rituals. Next thing you know, we’ll have a chinchilla rescue moving in, and that would be tragic indeed.

When you filter out the fruit salad of huff-puffery, the concerns boiled down to two predictable, yet entirely baseless issues:

Because Children!

A number of residents expressed concern that children are frequently in that same strip mall, either walking home from school or attending dance or karate classes. I had to agree with this point because there’s not much more dangerous than a bunch of primary schoolers with mad karate skills. Can you imagine the bloodbath if we were to allow bands of martially trained munchkins to roam free like packs of rabid meerkats? Worse yet, they would probably be wearing gang colors like those yellow and green belts.

Later I found out that these folks were not actually worried about the danger from hordes of “Youth Lee” but rather the danger to kids from the gun store and shooting range. No one clarified on exactly how this business might endanger children, but that’s beside the point. You know why. Because children!!!

I did some fact checking and looked on Google, but I could find no record of other Palmetto State Armory locations abducting children for ritual sacrifices. But maybe I just missed the story.

Because Ammunition!

A number of folks seem concerned about the sale of ammunition near homes and a restaurant that sells alcohol. I for one was glad to hear someone raise this issue because before now I didn’t realize that ammunition, left unsupervised, was prone to multi-day drinking benders. Heads up people!

This objection really stumped me for a bit. Across the street is an Ace Hardware store that sells a wide variety of ammo. Better yet, a Wal-Mart a couple of blocks away sells truckloads of ammunition. Oh, and they sell beer and wine in the same store! And toys! Gadzooks! Because ammunition AND alcohol AND children! Fortunately, this particular Wal-mart built extra durable deep foundation supports so the bloodbath wouldn’t erode the building over time.

Predictably, the overlords of the planning committee voted unanimously to deny the zoning variance. But there’s a second reading coming up, and after that, the first reading in front of the full town council. The project is not dead yet, just wounded.

If the whining continues, I’m going to see if I can lure an indoor lawn tractor racing league into leasing the space. That’ll show ‘em.

Grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

5 Million Freakin’ People vs. Moms Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks

NRA-Millions-video

Breaking news! The White House released a new report suggesting slight statistical corrections to previous figures. Earlier this year, Vice President Biden claimed that 90% of Americans support increased background checks. The new findings indicate that 90% of Americans actually ATTENDED the recent NRA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. You heard it here first folks.

Speaking of 75,267 people, and yes that’s the actual number that attended the NRA Annual Meeting last weekend, the NRA’s new ad campaign makes it abundantly clear the difference between the anti-gun effort and the Second Amendment rights preservation effort.

In the words of a new NRA membership video called Bloomberg’s Millions, “He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

That. Is. Brilliant.

As a career marketing puke, I know it’s a brilliant campaign because it doesn’t spin, fool, or exaggerate. It hits the crux of the issue harder than that Mike Tyson punch where he swacked Zach Galifianakis in The Hangover. In case you didn’t see the movie, that punch was painful to watch, but entertaining for all except Zach.

The issue is simply this. The NRA has no power. None. None whatsoever.

You know what has power? 5 million freakin’ people who voluntarily send $25 a year to the NRA because they believe in the NRA’s position.(Tweet This!)

Power comes from 75,267 men, women and children who spend a whole lot of their hard-earned money (thanks Indianapolis, you were wonderful hosts!) to travel across the country to visit, talk, see products, hear speeches and vote.

On the other hand, astroturf, or lack of power comes from…

Protest Prostitutes.

As you may have heard, there was a protest by Moms Demand Something Or Other For Baby Emus, no wait, I think it’s Moms Demand Salaries From Michael Bloomberg, hang on, I’ll get it in a minute. Moms Demand Every Town Install Free Pillow Spray Dispensers. I think that’s it, right? Sorry, they keep changing names so frequently I lose track.

Anyway, Mom’s Demand Bloomberg Alimony Checks came to Indianapolis to “confront and challenge” the NRA. Fortunately, there are cheap flights to Indy because Bloomberg had to foot the bill to fly the couple of dozen men and women holding identical, organization provided signs. That’s right; they had to be paid to protest.

If your sign and t-shirt are issued when you clock in for your protest shift, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If your convictions are for sale for $8.50 an hour, you might be a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

If the energy level of your protest won’t melt butter on a hot day, you’re a protest prostitute. (Tweet This)

While entertaining to watch, protest prostitutes have no real power, they’re just the hired help.

Once there, and between union-mandated coffee breaks, they “confronted” the NRA from a safe distance of about a mile away. You know, because we’re all gun totin’ savages just raring to shoot people and shout things like “I was in fear for my life!” Especially moms.

Heck there was no need to confront. If they had bothered to come to the convention, they would’ve found 75,267 of the most polite and respectful people around. Well, in all honestly, it was only 75,266 because of that one guy who failed to say “excuse me” when he stepped in front of me at the Wall of Guns exhibit.

Let’s get back to the whole power thing.

Groups like Moms Demand Piers Morgan for President constantly refer to the NRA as if it were some autonomous organization that derives its power from an obelisk buried deep within the moon.

In fact, the only power that the NRA has comes from those 5 million freakin’ members who contribute 25 bucks a year to fund its efforts. Those are voluntary partings with hard-earned money by the way. Voluntary. Not one rich elitist with a couple of unemployed protest prostitute sycophants.

I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for the gun control movement to understand. They continue to speak of the NRA as if it had a will of its own that disregarded the will of the people.

If I hear one more person talk about the political clout of the gun lobby and NRA, I’m going to strap on a meatloaf suit and jog through the African Lion Safari exhibit at Busch Gardens.

The NRA has too much power? 5 million freakin’ people are SUPPOSED to have political clout. Lots and lots of it. (Tweet This!)

It’s part of that whole constitutional republic democratic process thing. Remember?

It’s a simple concept.

“He’s one guy with millions, but we’re millions with our 25 bucks. Let’s see who crushes who.”

If you’re reading this, and are not a member of the NRA, you need to join now. If 10% of the people who agree with the NRA would simply join, we wouldn’t be having these silly discussions about preserving our rights.

 

Grab a copy of Tom’s free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

Gun Crime, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Mikey on the Hamster Wheel

New York Safe ActGun Crime makes me sick.

But just the “crime” part, not the “gun” part.

If I hear someone say “gun crime” or “gun deaths” one more time, I’m gonna start puking up bearded Llama puppies. (Tweet This) Do you call the little ones puppies? I’m not sure, but I’ll be ejecting them from my mouth none-the-less.

The whole “about to vomit” thing comes from the fact that I can’t get my laparoscopic adjustable gastric band around the fact that…

People believe that if you remove the “gun” part, the crimes won’t happen. Poof! They disappear! Kind of like Benghazi witnesses. (Tweet This)

To me, that’s like believing you can wave a magic scepter to vanquish all of the Pabst Blue Ribbon DUI’s. Do you think this would reduce the number of drunks on the road? Seriously? At best, it would simply improve the “quality” of drunkenness. More people would be drinking beer of better repute once PBR has been removed from the supply chain.

If you were paying attention to the PBR analogy, you probably figured out what happens when Pabst becomes extinct. People drink other types of beer. Like National Bohemian. Some might even switch to hard cider if they’re feeling really rambunctious.

Of course you could ban all the cheap beers, and cider too. But folks would simply start drinking the hard stuff.

Heck, some people might even drop those little umbrellas in their cocktails – and that would be tragic indeed.

Do you see where this is going? It’s an endless game of trying to remove objects associated with bad behavior, while blissfuly ignoring the fact that behavior is, well, a behavioral problem. You can ban one object, only to have the problem continue with different objects. It reminds me of a dog chasing it’s tail. Or Harry Reid continuing to insist that people love Obamacare.

I like to picture a miniature Michael Bloomberg (yeah, I know, he’s kind a Napoleonic mini-tyrant anyway) running in one of those hamster wheels. He runs, and runs, but never accomplishes anything. Run Mikey, run!

And therein lies the problem.

Drunk driving is a behavioral problem. Removing one type of drunk juice from the equation solves nothing. Heck, we tried to remove all the drunk juice from the equation and that was a miserable failure. Can you say Prohibition? The behavior never went away.

Crime is also a behavioral problem. Removing guns, or placing restrictions on them does not remove evil intent from the hearts of darkness.(Tweet This)

You can ban all the guns you want, but nothing positive has ever been accomplished by that. Australia did it. Crime went up. The UK did it. Crime went up.

I think the primary argument of the gun ban crowd is based on this flawed assumption. If you remove guns, then any crimes previously associated with guns will simply not happen.

This flawed assumption smacked me upside the head with a recent discussion with Phil the Australian. Phil seems to be a really nice guy, and I enjoyed a very polite and civil discussion with him online. I’d like to meet him over a good Australian beer. I hear they don’t really like Fosters over there — apparently it’s for tourists or something — so if we ever meet in person, I’ll trust him completely on his selection of beverage.

The basic gist of my part of the discussion was this.

Let’s suppose we live in Obama-Topia, a place with 100 murders per year, and 70 of those murders involve guns and 30 some other murderous weapon. Now, we get smart, and use our disappearing gun ray to remove all the guns. Yet, we still have 100 murders a year, but none of them involve guns. Yay! Zero gun deaths! But the people who have been “death-ed” by some means other than guns really don’t feel much better, do they?

My point is, both Australia and the UK have had either unchanged, or in the case of the UK, INCREASING murder rates since their major gun control initiatives. Guns or no guns. In fact, in the UK, the “gun related” murder rate has actually gone up since their gun ban. And of course their overall murder rate has gone UP since their gun ban. Australia’s has stayed relatively flat before, during and after.

By the way, things like assault and forcible rape are 2 to 4 times more likely in the UK and Australia, respectively, as the US. Just sayin’ you know.(Tweet This)

Another side note, gun ownership in Australia is essentially back to where it was before the 96/97 buyback, yet the murder rate really hasn’t changed as a percentage. Huh? If you’re going to make major changes, you would expect the crime rates to change as a result, no?

So, if crime, murder, rape, assault, armed robbery et al. do not change regardless of the tools used, who cares?

I want CRIME down. Not gun crime. Or electric stapler crime. Or Silly Putty crime.(Tweet This)

The only thing that’s relevant is the overall crime rate.

If I’m to be murdered, I certainly won’t consider it a moral victory if I’m murdered with something other than a gun. If I’m the murderee, then a gun control policy that ensures I was murdered with something other than a gun really doesn’t help me.

The flaw in the gun ban argument is that if you remove the guns (or knives, or electric staplers) then those types of crimes go away. They don’t.

That. Has. Never. Happened. Ever.

Because you can’t solve a behavioral problem without addressing the, ummm, behavior.

Grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips. It will help make you a better shooter and the envy of your range in no time.

The Common Sense Language of Gun Control

Words have more power than just about anything. Words can get us married. Words can get us thrown out of bars. Words (in the form of outrageous lies) can get people elected to political office.

In fact, words have the power to change a discussion to a completely different topic.

As an example, look what words have done to the pro-choice / pro-life discussion. If an extraterrestrial NSA analyst was listening in on that debate, they might assume that the argument was over whether women had the right to buy Flintstone vitamins since the language speaks more to “healthcare” than abortion issues.

We don’t have to look far to see what kind of impact words have had on the gun debate.

Using our advanced underground particle literacy accelerator laboratory, located in an underground complex in the foothills of South Dakota, I’ve completed an analysis of words and their impact on the gun debate.

Impact of words on the gun debate

I think the phrase “commonsense gun laws” might be the most dangerous of them all. Using the phrase “common sense” is like a preemptive nuclear strike. When you throw out a term like “common sense” in the war of words, you’re immediately claiming the high ground and establishing your position as a given. It’s up to the opposing party to knock you off.

Heck, you can preface the most ridiculous of arguments with “common sense” to win virtually any debate.

“We should consider common sense solutions to America’s weight problem by doing things like banning large Cokes.”

“We should think about common sense solutions to fairness in reporting by putting Piers Morgan in charge of the FCC.”

“We should pursue common sense solutions to population control by deporting everyone who likes turnips.”

Part of the reason “common sense” is so dangerous is that it sounds so disarming.

So how do you go about fighting common sense? How do you overcome being the bad guy resisting the warm and fuzzy argument that’s based on common sense?

I like to use a technique developed here in the southern United States. It’s called the “bless your heart” attack.

Contrary to the point of this article the phrase “bless your heart” has absolutely nothing to do with words. It has everything to do with demeanor, facial expression and a voice dripping with high fructose corn syrup.

Delivered correctly, “bless your heart” delivers 25 megatons of nuclear insult to your target. (Tweet This)

Said to someone with the correct technique, it translates loosely as “you’re a tiresome lout and have the IQ of a can of spackle.”

So take a lesson. When someone tells you about commonsense gun laws, give your best politician smile and ask them to help you understand exactly how it represents ’common sense.

Example: “You’ll have to forgive me, I haven’t had my coffee yet today. How is that common sense exactly?”

One of two things will happen. First, if your opponent is simply parroting a talking point, you’ll expose them for doing so. Second, if your opponent has any knowledge of the subject matter at all, you have deflected the common sense preemptive strike and started an actual discussion, at which point victory is assured for you.

What’s the conclusion? Guns don’t kill people, words kill people! That’s just common sense.

While you’re here, why not grab a copy of my free eBook, A Fistful of Shooting Tips? It’ll help make you a better handgun shooter and the envy of your range in no time!

Astroturf? Not. NSSF Breaks 10,000 Member Mark

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that it has recently surpassed the 10,000 member mark, reflecting strong industry support for its efforts.

No, these new members were not paid with a pack of cigarettes, bussed in to enrollment centers or counted multiple times. The best part? All of these new members are actually living. These are companies, media organizations and individuals who have made the effort to join, and pay dues, to support the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

As big as it is, the NSSF SHOT Show is only a small part of what the National Shooting Sports Foundation does for the industry.

“NSSF membership continues to climb because more industry connected companies, organizations and individuals are aware of the many ways NSSF works to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports,” said Chris Dolnack, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer. “Such growth empowers NSSF to speak with a single, powerful voice on behalf of the industry inside the Beltway and in state houses across the country.”

To better accommodate the volume of membership renewals, the NSSF has changed their renewal terms. Now, renewal dates can be anniversary, rather than calendar date, driven. The NSSF membership team hopes that this change will speed up the process of distributing membership and renewal packets.

“We appreciate this incredible support,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF Director, Member Services, “and we similarly thank our members for their patience in awaiting their membership renewal packets. If a member has not received the packet and has any questions regarding this, they can certainly contact me.”

The NSSF offers a variety of membership types including voting, supporting, non-profit, retailer, range and individual media. Contact nssf.org for more information.

Open Carry Ban Leads To Concealed Carry Win in California?

California Shall Issue Permit ProcessBack to back Second Amendment victories emerged from an unlikely source – the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In two cases filled with irony, it turned out that California’s recent ban on open carry paved the way for the concealed carry victory. Huh?

Yes, an anti-gun decision in California enabled a pro-gun court ruling. (Tweet This)

Monkeys are now flying out of my… well, never mind.

While California bans open carry at the state level, concealed carry policies and restrictions are determined at the county level. Frustrated by permit refusals from San Diego County, five residents sued, challenging the county’s requirement for “proof of need” to obtain a concealed carry permit. Apparently, if you’ve been murdered more than once, you “might” be eligible to obtain a carry permit in some locales.

On February 13th, the appeals court ruled on the Peruta v. San Diego case in favor of the residents and ruled the “may issue” concealed permit policy unconstitutional.

“We are not holding that the Second Amendment requires the states to permit concealed carry,” Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain, a Reagan appointee, wrote for the panel. “But the Second Amendment does require that the states permit some form of carry for self-defense outside the home.”

With no open carry option on the table, and concealed carry effectively banned in many California counties due to arbitrary permit issuance policies, the court agreed that citizens were effectively prevented from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

If you can’t carry visibly or concealed, that only leaves parallel universe carry, which is a difficult skill for most people to master. (Tweet This)

In a follow-up case, Richards vs. Sheriff Ed Prieto, Yolo County, California’s “may issue” concealed carry permit policy was also shot down by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rejected the county argument that the case circumstances were materially different than Peruta vs. San Diego.

“Today’s ruling reinforces the Second Amendment’s application  to state and local governments, and will help clear the way for more California citizens to exercise their right to bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “California officials have been put on notice that they can no longer treat the Second Amendment as a heavily regulated government privilege.”

According to the San Jose Mercury News, permits permit applications have been flooding in to a number of counties since the ruling, with many seeing double the annual average of applications in the past few weeks.

The bottom line? These two cases have solidified the position that Second Amendment rights apply outside the home – at least for California residents. At the national level, the Ninth Circuit decision is contrary to similar cases in the Second, Third and Fourth Circuit courts, so Supreme Court intervention is likely at some point.

Keep the pressure on folks!

Phil’s Phobias, Urticating Caterpillars and the Gun Debate

One of the joys of publishing written diatribe for public consumption is the comments and feedback from the… internet. Consider this recent example.

Phil from Australia writes…

I’m glad I live in Australia, with controlled gun ownership, where all guns must be locked away. EG. I read a story where a 3 year old boy shoots himself…….go figure.

Well there you have it. A random anecdote trumps decades of factual data, at least in Phil’s mind.

But when you step back and look at a comment like this, it just illustrates the real challenge behind the gun debate. You see, Phil is not alone. Think about how many people have their views about gun policy shaped by random “I heard that…” anecdotes.

I heard about a shark attack once. But that didn’t stop me from taking showers. For long.(Tweet This)

If one invests about four minutes to research the gun debate, it becomes pretty darn clear that guns themselves aren’t the driving issue for crime. Gun ownership is way up. Crime is way down. When folks aren’t robbed of their rights of self-protection, crime falls. Accidents are at an all time low. The vast majority of gun-related crime involves convicted felons. Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. Let me repeat that.

Guns are used far, far more frequently to prevent people from getting hurt than for hurting people. (Tweet This)

In other words, a rational look at the data to examine the pros and cons of gun use yields a clear result. Guns save lives.

So what has so much power to trump decades of historical data and cause people to hold so dearly to viewpoints that have no basis in fact?

Hint: It’s fear.

You see, the power of fear is mind-bottling. You know, just like Chazz Michael Michaels so eloquently explained. “You know, when things are so crazy it gets your thoughts all trapped, like in a bottle?”

Phil is a perfect example of the power of the fear mentality.

You see, Phil lives in a country where children are 94.3 times more likely to be eaten by a crocodile than win a regional spelling bee.

Well, maybe I made that statistic up, but I’m sure it’s happened at least once, so that pretty much settles the argument.

Conclusion? If you don’t want to become croc-lunch, practice spelling the word “insouciant.”

I decided to consult famed behavioral psychiatrist, Dr. Emil Shuffhausen, to explore Phil’s case further. Based on preliminary analysis, there are a number of other things that frighten Phil.

Australian Phil's Fears

Australian Phil’s Fears

 At risk of causing Phil more undue stress, I want to point out some other hazards of living in Australia.

  • 715 people died tripping, slipping and stumbling, which makes one think Fosters Beer should be locked away.
  • 26 Australians fell off chairs to their earthly end. Consider working in the Lotus position. Yoga is all the rage right now.
  • 58 people died just falling out of bed, although there are not footnotes on which activity immediately proceeded these tragic accidents.
  • Australians are equally susceptible to death from human bites as dog bites. No comment.
  • More venomous arthropod warning signs might be in order, as urticating caterpillars are more likely to kill than crocodile attacks or earthquakes.

But here’s the thing. People like Phil aren’t really concerned with all these other potential hazards. Why?

Fear dominates attitude towards guns because people don’t assign any potential benefits to gun ownership – they only consider the negatives. (Tweet This)

That’s right. When subconsciously evaluating the cost / benefit of various life activities, which might kill us, people always consider the benefit side of the equation for things like swimming, walking, sitting, sleeping and even keeping pet urticating caterpillars. Yes, any of these activities can be lethal, but that’s OK because a larger upside is perceived to balance the risks.

We all just assume there are plenty of benefits to sleeping, sitting and caterpillar husbandry, right? (Tweet This)

So Phil, and others like you: Be intellectually honest about the debate. There are always two sides to any decision. Even a fart has benefits, so consider the other side of the scale before opining on gun control.

Oh, and Phil. One more thing. Nine people died in Australia last year as a result of horse-drawn vehicle incidents.

I sure am glad I live in a country with controlled horsepower transportation, where New York’s new Mayor is banning horse-drawn carriage tours. (Tweet This)

 

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The Rookie's Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

The Rookie’s Guide to Guns and Shooting, Handgun Edition

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