Category Archive 'Gun Control'
14 Sep 2019

Katsujin-ken Satsujin-to

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In dojos offering training in kendo and aikido, the above phrase written in the grass script on a scroll is commonly hung for purposes of admonition and inspiration.

These Japanese radicals are pronounced Katsujin-ken Satsujin-to (sometimes, Katsujinken satsujinken) meaning “The sword which kills is the sword which gives life.”

They are often rendered more explicitly in English as “The sword which cuts down evil is the sword which preserves life.”

This adage is attributed to the masters of Yagyū school, the Tokugawa shoguns’ personal instructors in swordsmanship.

And those Yagyū school sword sensei-s were right. The rightful use of weapons is essential in an imperfect world to defend innocent lives against unjust violence.

A wider commitment to skill at arms and a more common readiness to defend the innocent would be infinitely more effective at saving the lives of victims of attacks by madmen and criminals than a totalitarian program attempting to enforce universal disarmament.

Katsu-tempo satsu-tempo.

In case after mass shooting case, a gun in the hands of the right bystander could have been the gun which destroyed evil and the gun which preserved life.

The latest couple of manifestations of a trend fostered by devoted media coverage and attention resulted again in all the typical expressions of the phobic attitudes of members of our over-domesticated, metrosexual intelligentsia toward firearms.

Guns are regarded as detestable and intrinsically dangerous objects which need to be kept under official control at all times, ideally in bank vaults. Their complete removal from American society is so unquestionably desirable that even house-to-house searches, and the shredding of the Bill of Rights, would be a perfectly acceptable price.

Obviously, this kind of policy proposal represents not a practical response to a real problem, but rather an irrational and emotional outburst, indifferent to benefits and costs, oblivious to process and law, expressive of an overwhelming combination of fear and aversion so profound as to dispense completely with practicality, proportionality, and cause and effect.

This kind of hostility toward firearms, this hoplophobia, needs to be recognized as the kind of irrationalism that it is.

In a sane society, familiarity and skill with arms, possession of the ability to defend oneself and others would be looked upon as essential components of every man’s education.

(A revised posting from 2007.)

05 Sep 2019

Comments on Proposed Gun “Buy Backs”

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Warner Todd Huston:

My background check into Beto O’Rourke, who wants to “buy back” my guns, finds he makes violent threats on Twitter and has a history of drunk driving and hit and run. I don’t think Beto is legally qualified to buy a gun at this point. My guns have been safer and less violent OUT of Beto’s hands

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20 Aug 2019

“A Varied and Valuable Tool”

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Cat Urbigkit writes books and raises sheep and Hereford cattle in Sublette County in Western Wyoming. If you raise sheep, wolves are a serious problem. Cat has also occasionally run into human predators and she consequently look upon guns as essential tools.

I continue to renew my [concealed carry] permit when it comes due, even though most of the time I openly carry a firearm– because I keep guns in my work truck as a rancher. I’m a woman who works alone outside on most days in a remote region that is home to numerous large carnivores, so yes, I am armed.

Firearms are valuable tools in my life, just as necessary as standard fencing pliers, rope, an assortment of gloves made from leather, cotton, and wool, and the ever-present shovel.

My firearm use is a result of my personal journey. As I became more proficient with each gun, and we have changes in our lives and on the ranch, my need for various types of firearms and calibers changes. Much as the case of our shovel collection.

Living on a ranch, we have numerous types and styles of shovels: plastic shovels to push snow off our steps; strong but lightweight shovels strapped onto snowmachines; short, narrow shovels to dig up weeds; wide, curved shovels for firefighting; manure shovels; and traditional wooden-handled shovels in every ranch truck. Each shovel is best-suited for specific tasks, as each firearm we wield.

I’m disappointed to listen to national news media talk about gun ownership in America as though it were an alien idea. Interviews with gun owners are rare, and tend to involve either members of the gun lobby, or people at a shooting range – both of which are members of our “gun culture,” but neither of which are representative of the varied users of guns in America.

When major media in our nation talk about guns, the discussion involves speakers in metropolitan areas, usually after a horrendous tragedy. They aren’t airing interviews of people who take their children out with gundogs to hunt birds; elk hunters preparing for mountain trips they’ve dreamed about for years; former military members who enjoy competitive shooting sports; women who train to never become victims; gun collectors dedicated to preserving history; or ranchers who use firearms as tools, to name a few.

Our stories may be alien to those who haven’t shared the same life journeys, but they are the stories of American gun ownership. In a way it’s no wonder we don’t hear our stories in national media. With the current gun debate so narrowly defined, what gun owner would be willing to be interviewed by a national network or news outlet? The risks are great: nuances will be missed; statements can be taken out of context for a soundbite; and the internet backlash/cyber bullying by cowards with keyboards is nearly guaranteed.

We’ve become the silent majority.

It always amazes me that urban nincompoops in New York and other big cities, who know absolutely nothing about guns, are perfectly prepared to offer detailed regulatory schemes affecting people like Cat Urbigkit living in the remote wilds of Wyoming.

10 Aug 2019

Gun Control and the New Class

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Beginning in the 1970s, some of the writers and editors who became known as neoconservatives observed changes in the American elite. The tradition of liberal internationalism, which held individual liberty as the preeminent value and believed in equality of opportunity, as well as a safety net, was under assault. A rising generation of activists charged liberal internationalism with hypocrisy: not only abroad, where intervention in Vietnam had run aground, but also at home, where formal equality under the law had not produced substantive results. Something was wrong with America, the students said. Only a fundamental transformation of our nation would set things aright.

Neoconservatives called this incipient elite the “new class.” It consists, Irving Kristol wrote in 1975, “of scientists, lawyers, city planners, social workers, educators, criminologists, sociologists, public health doctors, etc.—a substantial number of whom find their careers in the expanding public sector rather than the private.” To that list one might add journalists, professors, post-docs, adjuncts, foundation officers, and a great number of programmers, managers, human resource officers, and CEOs. The neoconservatives never defined the “new class” precisely—something their critics pointed out. The category was meant to be a catchall, a handy description of the well-schooled professionals who began their long march through America’s academic, media, entertainment, government, and corporate institutions in the aftermath of 1968.

“Mass higher education has converted this movement into something like a mass movement proper,” Kristol said, “capable of driving a president from office (1968) and nominating its own candidate (1972).” The year before Kristol wrote those words, the new class had sent another president packing. The new class grew in size and influence. It was not a select few working behind the scenes. It was not a conspiracy. Its motives were genuine—but also genuinely different from the liberal internationalism of FDR, Truman, Kennedy, LBJ, and Humphrey. “Members of the new class,” Kristol wrote, “do not ‘control’ the media, they are the media—just as they are our educational system, our public health and welfare system, and much else.”

When neoconservatives began analyzing the new class, around 10 percent of American adults had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. About a quarter of all jobs were in manufacturing. Today, the percentage of college graduates has doubled while manufacturing employment has plunged. The new class of college-educated professionals and managers has expanded, and its aspirations, values, and ideals are ever more present in our culture and politics.

Kristol was careful to say that the new class was not monolithic: “It contains men and women who are not necessarily ‘pro-business,’ and who may not be much interested in business at all, but who are interested in individual liberty and limited government, who are worried about the collectivist tendencies in the society.” But in recent years the portion of the new class that subscribes to the old liberal internationalism has receded into the background.

What was once an intra-new-class fight over the size and scope of government has become a struggle to define the American nation between the new class on one hand and Donald Trump, his national populists, and a few new-class fellow travelers on the other. The new class has incredible resources at its disposal, from the expansive and appealing ideology of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” to communications, tech, state and local governments, bureaucracies, and the courts. Trump has a Twitter account, half of a cable network, Mitch McConnell, the Supreme Court, and 63 million voters.

One reason the battle is so pitched is that, as the new class multiplied in numbers and strength, the divide between it and the rest of the country grew into the Mariana Trench. The culture of the new class, which originates in Charles Murray’s “super-zips” and extends into the suburbs, has little in common with, speaks even a different language than, residents of exurban and rural America whose votes go to Trump.

It is on the issue of guns that this incomprehension is most pronounced. The cable news anchors expressing frustration and disbelief that the latest shooting may not result in tighter regulation of firearms are sincere. They live safe and satisfying lives without guns; why can’t the rest of the country do the same? Yet the spokesmen for “doing something” do not appreciate the equal sincerity of gun owners, whose weapons are not just possessions but also, on some level, part of their identity.

Guns are especially frustrating to the new class because they are the rare case where the courts, which normally are its ally, have not achieved its objectives. The Heller decision (2008) irks Democrats to no end because the Supreme Court said that Second Amendment guarantees rule out some forms of regulation. Gun owners have been adept at using the language of rights—usually the preferred means of the new class—to attain ends the new class abhors. That has forced advocates of gun control back into the democratic arena, where the new class has so often been repudiated.

No amount of evidence showing the inefficacy of gun control, or the virtues of alternative policies, will convince the new class to drop its crusade for regulation. That is not just because guns are safety hazards. It is because guns remind the new class that it has not succeeded in imposing the values of one part of the country, and one segment of the population, on the rest.

HT: Instapundit.

29 Jul 2019

Trump’s Revolver Is Ejecting a Case

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17 Jun 2019

Shop at Dick’s!

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19 May 2019

Bad News: Swiss Give in to EU Gun Control Demands

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Shooting is a popular sport in Switzerland, where families often can be seen heading for the range, carrying their rifles.

Polls predicted that the Swiss would surrender to EU demands for strict controls on semi-automatic firearms for fear of losing membership in the Schengen agreement bloc, which allows people from 26 European nations to enter any of the countries without passport control. The EU has demanded that the Swiss comply with Brussels’ new firearm restrictions if they want to remain in the borderless zone.

BBC:

What the EU wants:

    Under a Revised Firearms directive, a ban on weapons capable of rapidly firing multiple rounds

    Automatic and semi-automatic weapons would either be banned or heavily restricted

    Each owner of such a weapon, and the weapon itself, are known to police across Europe

    All essential weapon components should be clearly labelled and registered electronically

Switzerland has an estimated 2.3 million guns, with a population of 8.5 million.

That figure could be much higher, as only guns acquired since 2008 (when Switzerland first joined Schengen) have to be registered.

The EU wants to ensure that automatic and semi-automatic weapons are either banned or heavily restricted, and that each owner of such a weapon, and the weapon itself, is known to police across Europe.

For non-EU member Switzerland, the idea of Brussels interfering in hallowed Swiss gun traditions is awkward.

The Swiss government wants voters to back the EU directive, but it has also lobbied Brussels hard for exemptions which might make it more palatable. Those semi-automatic army assault rifles, for example, will still be allowed at home if Swiss militia soldiers want them.

The government argues that gun lovers won’t notice the new regulations, while at the same time Switzerland will have preserved its membership of Schengen.

Business leaders say Switzerland’s Schengen open borders have been good for the economy. Police point to data-sharing on crime in the Schengen information system.

Immigration officials warn that if Switzerland votes No and drops out of Schengen, it will lead to a spike in asylum requests from people turned away by neighbouring countries.

That is because it would no longer be covered by the rules under which asylum seekers can only apply to one EU member state for protection.

Switzerland’s political establishment is united in support of the EU’s restrictions, and latest opinion polls show voters may go along with them.

The deciding factor in this vote is likely to be Swiss women, for decades the most vocal campaigners in favour of gun control.

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And, despite the absence of any Swiss mass shooting problem, and despite Switzerland having a lower crime rate than any of its European neighbors, and despite their own traditions, the Swiss voted by a 63.7% margin to surrender.

Swiss Info.CH:

Voters have endorsed a controversial reform of Swiss gun law to bring it in line with European Union rules.

Final results show the reform winning 63.7% of the ballot on Sunday. The result was much closer in rural regions and voters in canton Ticino rejected the legal amendment.

Ownership of semi-automatic weapons will require regular training on the use of firearms and a serial numbering of major parts of some guns to help track them. …A broad alliance of gun clubs, militia army officers, hunters and collectors, supported by the political right, tried to overturn a decision by parliament last year that limits notably the use of semi-automatic firearms.

The government and most major political parties warned that a rejection of the legal amendment would deny Swiss authorities access to a Europe-wide criminal database and lead to the exclusion of the country from a joint EU security system under the single border Schengen agreement.

Opponents collected the necessary signatures to challenge the decision by parliament, saying the reform was “dictated by the EU” and would lead to “disarming” Switzerland through “useless, dangerous, un-Swiss” measures.

They said that tougher controls on semi-automatic guns and improved traceability of firearms go too far in a country with near-universal conscription, a high rate of gun ownership, but a low crime rate.

Supporters of the amendment argued that the government secured sufficient opt-out clauses in negotiations with the EU, and that Brussels has taken into account Switzerland’s tradition of self-defence and national identity that includes a well-armed citizenry.

“The legal reform respects Switzerland’s time-proven gun tradition,” Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter assured in the run-up to Sunday’s vote.

A majority in parliament, backed by the cantons and the business community, said failure to adopt tougher controls could have serious consequences for police as they risk being cut off from a crucial European database on criminals and suspects.

Supporters were also concerned that exclusion from Europe’s single-border area could complicate cross-border traffic and hamper tourism.

RTWT

11 May 2019

Is Canada About to Ban Guns?

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09 Apr 2019

Gun-Free-Zone Robbed at Gunpoint

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National Gun Network:

People enjoying some hot wings the other day in Colorado Springs, CO got a front row seat to proof of the efficaciousness of a virtue-signaling gun-banning sign. Buffalo Wild Wings is a gun-free zone. It says so right on the sign on the front door in big, bold letters: “Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc Bans Guns on These Premises.”

The sign is highly effective 99.9% of the time. Just hope that you’re not there and unarmed for the 0.1% of the time when the place gets robbed, like it did the other day.

Two robbers, one with an “assault” rifle and one with a pistol, stormed into the restaurant and walked right past the sign that clearly bans guns.

Imagine how embarrassed they would have been if they had seen the sign! They probably would have turned right around. Maybe they couldn’t read, which led to their life of crime. …

The guy with the “assault” rifle didn’t even have to point it at anyone at Buffalo Wild Wings. He just held it and yelled at everyone to get back and stay down. To which they got back and stayed down, being civilized folks who had obeyed the sign on the front door banning guns.

The guy with the pistol was a bit more zealous with his crowd control measures, however. He pistol-whipped one person with his banned pistol, then grabbed the hostess in a choke-hold and held his banned pistol against her head until the register was emptied.

One of the civilized customers got down on the ground and crawled out the back door in a dignified manner, and then called the police. “They showed up in like 10 seconds,” she said. However, despite the rapid police response, the thieves got clean away with the cash.

It’s a good thing that no one was hurt! Well, except for the hostess who was choked and the person who got pistol-whipped and needed to go to the hospital.

The really good news is that Buffalo Wild Wings’ sign banning guns was almost totally effective. Aside from those two bad apples that robbed the place with guns, no one else in the restaurant had a gun! Compliance!

RTWT

28 Mar 2019

Gun Control

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25 Mar 2019

New Zealand Gun Ban

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15 Mar 2019

That Sword of Gabriel’s Wouldn’t Have Done Him a Lot of Good, If Adam & Eve Were Packing Iron

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Michelangelo, Expulsion from Eden, Sistine Chapel, 1508-1512.

The Onion:

Religious Conservatives Argue Adam And Eve Would Never Have Been Banished From Eden If They’d Had Guns

HOUSTON—In what they described as scriptural evidence of the right to bear arms, leading figures among the religious right gathered Wednesday to issue a statement arguing that Adam and Eve would never have been banished from the Garden of Eden if they had owned guns. “Just imagine: If Adam and Eve had carried firearms and stood their ground against God, they would have been able to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge in peace, and He could never have forced them to leave paradise,” said Pastor Hugh Peters of Houston’s Second Baptist Church, explaining how the entire course of human history would have been altered for the better if the first man and woman had taken the simple precaution of keeping a semiautomatic weapon at the ready for use during emergencies. “God was trespassing on their property, pure and simple. He had absolutely no right to force them from their home. Had Eve been able to open-carry a handgun, maybe tying it to her hip with a vine or something, God would have known to back off. This is one of the Bible’s most important lessons.”

God didn’t make men equal, after all. That was Samuel Colt.

HT: Stephen Frankel.

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