Category Archives: Getting it right

Louisville’s Tim Faulkner Gallery shooting and a complete lack of outrage.

If a “mass shooting” occurs, and no talking heads are angry about it, will people make a sound?  The answer is: no.

This weekend, there was a concert event at the Tim Faulkner Gallery, located in Louisville’s West End – specifically in Portland.  For those who aren’t familiar with the venue, Tim Faulkner’s is a 26,000 square foot mixed-use facility near the Ohio River, that is home to both artist space, McQuixote Books & Coffee, and a 10,000 square foot performance area that hosts various events.  It is surrounded by warehouses, manufacturing, and a lower income homes that are slowly being gentrified by hipsters, trendy restaurants & businesses encroaching into the area.  Kentucky Kustom Cycles is across the street, Louisville & Indiana Railroad is two buildings east, and Habitat for Humanity’s Louisville office is two streets south.

When 5 people are shot at 1AM, you’d think that people would be upset by this.  One woman, a student at University of Louisville, died. 5 were wounded and expected to recover.  After the outrage of the Orlando Nightclub shooting, all of the usual suspects were up in arms.  They quickly blamed everyone from the NRA, to the firearms industry, to the GOP for enabling the killer to murder all of those innocent people.

Imagine my surprise when I saw absolutely zero mention of this weekend’s horror in my social media feeds.  The same people who would wail and rend their clothes in a morbid kabuki display of virtue signaling; the social justice warriors who proudly declare that anyone who opposes gun control is a psychopath, and that the NRA is evil… why, they were silent.

24 hours later, there are no calls for gun control.  No screaming about the easy availability of firearms.   No talk about innocent lives lost or the societal cost of gun ownership, or how Something. Must. Be. Done.

Why on earth would that be?  Simple.  Here’s the event where the shooting occured:

xihvtot

The victims? No elementary school children.  No casualties from the LGBTQ community. A distinct lack of media friendly corpses to be used as macabre props, because this is the wrong demographic. No possible hate crime, and if the shooter is caught, he will probably already have a long criminal record.   It’s not as easy for the gun control movement to dance in the blood of the victims when this sort of thing happens.

It’s difficult to manufacture outrage when it’s a people being shot at a rap concert. Because of this, the personalities that generate talking points have nothing to say because their audience is just going to shrug their shoulders and go “what did you expect” when they see the event & the victims.

You see, this type of “mass shooting” doesn’t fit the narrative.  Louisville’s West End is known as the bad part of town, with the city’s poverty, crime rates, shootings & drug issues all congregate to become that area middle-class mothers warn their kids to avoid.

No Facebook profile pictures will be changed to say “We stand with Portland.” The people shot will only be mentioned again as a statistic: they will be lumped in with other similar “mass shootings” to paint firearms ownership as a stain upon society.

Thus, the truth is laid bare: those who scream the loudest about gun control aren’t really invested in it.  It’s not a cause they actually care about, because if it was they would be marching for the victims of Saturday’s shooting.  No, gun control is merely a tool in the arsenal; a facet of tribal politics & a way for them to lash out against their political opponents.  It’s something that is only mentioned when they can puff themselves up in righteous anger, and preen in their cloaks of moral righteousness; because their opinions are right and those who disagree are clearly evil.  If something cannot be used as a weapon against your enemies, it is ignored.

Their silence makes it all too obvious how this is not a battle for what’s right, or to reduce “gun violence” whatsoever, but to score points off their opponents.  Because, let’s face it: If these people were truly passionate about their beliefs, if they truly felt that Black Lives Matter, or that every life is precious, then they would be screaming about this sort of thing happening. Instead, we hear crickets.

The political winds do not favor gun control, thus the faithful do not need to be rallied.  Better to save their outrage for whatever other convenient controversy can be manipulated.

Rational people can change their minds

James Wright’s article about how he was wrong about gun control and why it is doomed to failure, from the 90’s.  The years change, but the song remains the same:

http://www.nationalaffairs.com/doclib/20080708_1988912secondthoughtsaboutguncontroljamesdwright.pdf

Old, but good: If the First Amendment was treated like the Second

If the first amendment was treated like the second amendment…

Any speech using 10 or more foreign words would be a felony.
(Firearm law 922(r) restricting 10 or more foreign gun parts from the 1989 import ban)

Anyone convicted of a felony or convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse or assault is not allowed freedom of speech or religion and must rely on the government to provide speech and religion for them.
(1968 gun control act)

Any speech or religions that are done in a scary tone or feel are banned.  Any assembly that looks scary is banned.
(1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban that went after mostly cosmetic features)

Before engaging in new free speech you must pass an instant background check by a government authorized free speech dealer.  Sorry, if your name is like someone else prohibited from speech and religion, it is up to you to prove you’re not that person.
(NICS instant background check and Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993)

Any speech or work with more than 10 sentences per page is forbidden, any peaceable assembly with more than 10 people is also banned.
(Hi-Capacity Magazine bans in the Assault Weapon Ban and in many states to this day)

‘Freedom of Speech’ was only meant to be applicable to movable type presses.  The founding fathers didn’t foresee television, radio, photographs, telephones, film, or the internet.
(The idea that the 2nd amendment only applies to muskets)

You cannot exercise free speech or religion on federal property or at a school.
(Section 930. Title 18, United States Code and the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990)

Any religions, peaceable assemblies, camera, computer, telephone or free speech enabling device made before 1986 is available to use by the general public.  Any made after 1986 is only available to law enforcement.
(Closing of the NFA machine gun registry in 1986 by Regan with the Firearms Owner’s Protection Act)

A legal Polaroid camera from 1972 is now worth over $10,000 because you can’t get any new ones after 1986.  Sure you can get an illegal one, but you risk a 10-20 year felony conviction if caught.
(Market effects of the 1986 registry closure)

You can follow any religion, read any book, talk about whatever you like AFTER you pay a $200 tax to the government and pass a background check.  If you decide to buy more books, try another religion, or talk about something else, you must pay another $200 and go through another lengthy background check.
(National Firearm Act of 1934)

You CANNOT have free speech no matter what in Washington DC, it has been this way since 1977.
(Washington DC handgun ban)

Concealing free speech/religion is only permissible in some states and only after you have spent $100 and attended a state mandated course on how to speak/worship properly.  Though in some states you can’t conceal or display your speech or religion at all outside of your home.
(Conceal Carry Legislation and open carry laws)

You cannot have free speech if you are under 18 and you can’t worship anything until you are 21.
(Age restrictions on buying long guns and handguns)

If you wish to exchange free speech with a citizen in another state you must involve a government sanctioned free speech dealer to ensure they are allowed that type of free speech in their state.
(1968 Gun Control Act which mandates a FFL be needed for interstate gun purchases and transfers)

If the first amendment was treated like the second

Pro-click: “The Political Philosophy Of Guns – Would America Really Be A Better Society Without Them?”

Came across this last night:

America’s decades long national argument about gun control is not a normal political debate about addressing policy to problems but about what kind of politics to have. It is fundamentally about how citizens should relate to each other and the state, and that makes it a matter of political philosophy, Politics with a capital P. That in turn explains why the debate has gone on so long without resolution and the division and frustration it inspires.

Of course it is up to Americans to decide what kind of society they should have, not philosophers, and certainly not foreign ones like me. Indeed, part of my argument is that even this most fundamental question must be decided politically, by the people, and not by appeal to the special authority of sacred constitutional principles or social science or even philosophy. Philosophers’ pronouncements of truth and rightness have no special authority over politics, nor should they. What philosophical analysis can do is offer new perspective and argumentative resources by which a political debate such as this one might be improved from its toxic stalemate.

I know what you are thinking.  This is going to be a long winded argument about how guns are bad.  WRONG!

So what does my philosophical perspective come down to? First a diagnosis. Both sides of the gun control debate know they are right. But only one side recognises it as a fundamentally philosophical dispute. The other has systematically evaded the real debate about values in favour of the faux objectivity of a statistical public health argument [See Hunt for a discussion of what the gun control debate is actually about]. Second some positive advice. The advocates of gun control need to take the political philosophy of the gun rights movement seriously and show that a society without guns is a better society not that it is a safer one.

It only gets better from there:

I’m going to have to be blunt. Gun control advocates rely excessively on a public health case that is not only much weaker than they believe it to be but also crowds out the kind of arguments that might actually win over their opponents. Their confidence that they are on the right side of history has blinded them to the fact that they have chosen to fight on the wrong ground. They keep harping on about guns killing people. As if guns were like cigarettes, and as if the numbers were big enough to matter

Guns are an excellent killing technology. They are extremely good at transforming an intention to kill into its achievement. However, that doesn’t mean that they are a particularly significant cause of death; only a particularly exciting one.The idea that forcibly removing guns from citizens would reduce death rates in any appreciable degree is a triumph of moral indignation over statistics. America is not 43rd in the world for life-expectancy because it kills so many people with guns, but, principally, because of the social gradient in health that follows from its shameful levels of socio-economic inequality [1].

Let’s go into this a little more.

We hear a lot about the large number of deaths caused by guns in America, around 33,000 per year. This sounds like a big number. But understanding whether a number is big enough to matter requires considering it in context. 2.6 million Americans die every year [CDC] [2]. Gun deaths represent just over 1% of deaths, and two thirds of those are suicides. From a public health perspective, many other causes of death seem much more deserving of our worry, and also more likely to yield to government intervention.

So happy to see someone else making the same arguments I’ve been using for years.  This one addresses a plethora of typical arguments: Guns vs Cars, Suicide, Mass Shootings, etc.  I have to disagree with the author’s “Your gun isn’t going to stop the military” argument for reasons outlined in previous posts, but you can’t have everything.

No, you can’t blame the Republicans for lack of gun control

Yesterday was a victory for the United States – the Senate prevented shredding the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, and 14th amendments in order for Senate Democrats to restrict the 2nd.

This is being played as Republican’s wanting to sell guns to ISIS. I’m not joking, that’s actually what Sen Chris Murphy stated:

We’ve got to make this clear, constant case that Republicans have decided to sell weapons to ISIS

Why? Because the Senate Democrats put forward bills to restrict gun sales to people listed on the US Government’s Terror Watchlists.  The same secret watchlists that the even ACLU is saying not to use for gun control.

So what was the problem with the proposed bills from the Democrats? TL;DR – they wanted people to prove their innocence, eliminated due process, and a host of other issues.

The Republican’s put up two alternative bills in order to quell public fears:

Grassley Senate Amendment 4751

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley’s piece of legislation aimed to bolster the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) through increased funding. Other than Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Democrats voted against the measure,

Grassley’s bill failed 53-47.

https://www.congress.gov/amendment/114th-congress/senate-amendment/4751/text?resultIndex=2

Looks like the Democratic party isn’t for bolstering the NICS system.

The Republicans also put a bill up allowing use of the Terror Watchlists to deny gun sales provided the feds could show probable cause:

Senate Amendment 4749

Another bill, put forth by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, would have allowed a federal judge to block a gun sale pending there is probable cause that an individual “has committed or will commit an act of terrorism.”

The Cornyn bill failed 53-47.

https://www.congress.gov/amendment/114th-congress/senate-amendment/4749/text

 

 

In closing, the any spin about how this is all the Republican’s fault is misplaced – the Republican’s proposals had much more support and protected core constitutional rights.

Also of note: Universal Background Checks, which were utterly unrelated to the Orlando shooting and would not have prevented it, were also defeated yesterday. Hooray!

KY Permitless Carry a possibility? HB 531!

From the NRA:

Today, House Bill 531 was introduced by state Representatives Hubert Collins (D-97) and Jody Richards (D-20).  HB 531 would allow a law-abiding individual, to lawfully carry a concealed handgun for self-defense without needing to first obtain a government-issued license.  This legislation has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for consideration, and your NRA-ILA expects a Senate version of HB 531 to be introduced later this week.

This bipartisan legislation recognizes the right of Kentuckians to legally carry a concealed firearm without the requirement of acquiring a Kentucky concealed carry deadly weapons license (CCDW).  HB 531 is a much-needed update to concealed carry in Kentucky, allowing law-abiding gun owners the ability to better protect themselves and their loved ones.  This legislation would give Kentuckians the freedom to choose the best method of carrying for them, based on their attire, gender and/or physical attributes.  HB 531 would also keep in place the current permitting system so that people who obtain a permit could still enjoy the reciprocity agreements that Kentucky has with other states.

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20160301/kentucky-permitless-carry-legislation-introduced

Hot damn if this makes it through!

Edit: looks like this also prohibits employers from banning CCW and allows for campus carry too!

Always use a proper holster – “When Bad Holsters Turn Worse: This Guy Took One Right In The A$$, Here’s Why A Proper Holster Is Essential”

Every time I see someone using an Uncle Mikes style bargain basement soft nylon holster, I try to educate them on why this is a bad idea.

Here’s living proof of why:

“I holstered the firearm in the new holster at home and made sure it was secure and comfortable, and then drove three miles over to our storage facility. I spent 10 minutes in the storage facility, just climbing around stuff and going through boxes. When I left, I walked outside and opened the car door. I went to go get in the car and just heard a loud bang,” Matt explained.

 

“There’s no way that just happened. That did not just happen. And then I grabbed by butt and felt a hole in my pants and said, ‘Ok that just happened.’”

http://concealednation.org/2016/02/when-bad-holsters-turn-worse-this-guy-took-one-right-in-the-a-heres-why-a-proper-holster-is-essential/

Dude took a round right through his left butt cheek because his holster didn’t fit right and ‘something’ got in the trigger area.  Draw your own conclusions as to whether the shirt is actually the culprit.

More than this, though, a soft holster won’t stay open if you have to draw the weapon and need to then reholster after the threat is over.  You have to use two hands to reholster, or remove the holster entirely, insert the weapon, then put the holster back on.  This is a no-go.

There are three essential pieces to carrying a sidearm:

  1. The pistol
  2.  The holster, which keeps your firearm where you need it.
  3.  The belt, which attaches the holster to your body.

Too many times I see people buy a quality firearm, then cheap out on the holster and belt.  They will use a cheap cotton belt from Old Navy or Sears and then be surprised their pants don’t stay up and the holster flops around.   Their holster doesn’t secure the weapon correctly (see above) or they can’t get a consistent draw.  Etc etc etc.

The guy above has an expensive and painful reminder of his mistakes. Do yourself a favor and don’t repeat them.