Vice interviews a former ATF analyst on bump fire stocks, makes the subtle case to ban semiautomatic firearms.

Vice is usually not known for their unbiased coverage or accurate gun reporting.  Just look at their “Gun Control” section of their site – 11 pages of entries, with few (if any) neutral or objective segments.

Which is why I’m not going to give them the benefit of the doubt with this piece:

The gist is, “Bump stocks are legal because that’s how the law is written.”  The retired ATF analyst even demonstrates how bumpfire can be achieved without a stock, and the VICE reporter quickly is able to replicate this.

The implication is clear: Congress must take action to change the laws.

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Seriously, USA Today? 40mm Grenade Launchers?

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more idiotic, USA Today says “hold my beer!”

Yep, 40mm grenade launchers are somehow a danger, despite their being restricted as Destructive Devices, requiring the usual ATF background check, FBI fingerprinting, $200 tax stamp, and more.  And that’s just for the launcher – if you want a 40mm round, each one of those is considered a destructive device as well, if you can even find someone willing to sell you an explosive 40mm round.  

You know what the penalty is for having an unregistered Destructive Device? Federal Felony charges with up to 10 years in jail & a fine of $250,000.  But USA Today thinks these are just an accessory that is commonly available at any gun store.

This is why journalists covering firearms are mocked & derided relentlessly in the firearms community.   Because memes like this become less satire, and more reality:

If you want to have a serious discussion about a topic, it helps if you have even a layman’s grasp of the subject matter.  USA Today’s graphic is the epitome of fear mongering nonsense.

No one wants to take your guns, right? New York Times: “Repeal the Second Amendment”

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the usual suspects have come out in full force.  This showed up on my news feed this morning:

From a law-and-order standpoint, more guns means more murder. “States with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides,” noted one exhaustive 2013 study in the American Journal of Public Health.

Nothing like a Post Hoc ergo Propter Hoc fallacy to start things off.

From a personal-safety standpoint, more guns means less safety. The F.B.I. counted a total of 268 “justifiable homicides” by private citizens involving firearms in 2015; that is, felons killed in the course of committing a felony. Yet that same year, there were 489 “unintentional firearms deaths” in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Between 77 and 141 of those killed were children.

And a smooth transition to cherry picking by comparing justifiable homicides to accidents.  As usual, defensive gun uses that do not result in a dead criminal aren’t worthy of being counted, despite estimates of them ranging from 50,000 to 2 million a year.

From a national-security standpoint, the Amendment’s suggestion that a “well-regulated militia” is “necessary to the security of a free State,” is quaint. The Minutemen that will deter Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are based in missile silos in Minot, N.D., not farmhouses in Lexington, Mass.

The venerable strawman appears!

From a personal liberty standpoint, the idea that an armed citizenry is the ultimate check on the ambitions and encroachments of government power is curious. The Whiskey Rebellion of the 1790s, the New York draft riots of 1863, the coal miners’ rebellion of 1921, the Brink’s robbery of 1981 — does any serious conservative think of these as great moments in Second Amendment activism?

Someone’s clearly never heard of the Battle of Athens.

But hey, there’s a moment of self awareness:

Given all of this, why do liberals keep losing the gun control debate?

Maybe it’s because they argue their case badly and — let’s face it — in bad faith. Democratic politicians routinely profess their fidelity to the Second Amendment — or rather, “a nuanced reading” of it — with all the conviction of Barack Obama’s support for traditional marriage, circa 2008. People recognize lip service for what it is.

Then there are the endless liberal errors of fact. There is no “gun-show loophole” per se; it’s a private-sale loophole, in other words the right to sell your own stuff. The civilian AR-15 is not a true “assault rifle,” and banning such rifles would have little effect on the overall murder rate, since most homicides are committed with handguns. It’s not true that 40 percent of gun owners buy without a background check; the real number is closer to one-fifth.

The National Rifle Association does not have Republican “balls in a money clip,” as Jimmy Kimmel put it the other night. The N.R.A. has donated a paltry $3,533,294 to all current members of Congress since 1998, according to The Washington Post, equivalent to about three months of Kimmel’s salary. The N.R.A. doesn’t need to buy influence: It’s powerful because it’s popular.

Nor will it do to follow the “Australian model” of a gun buyback program, which has shown poor results in the United States and makes little sense in a country awash with hundreds of millions of weapons. Keeping guns out of the hands of mentally ill people is a sensible goal, but due process is still owed to the potentially insane. Background checks for private gun sales are another fine idea, though its effects on homicides will be negligible: guns recovered by police are rarely in the hands of their legal owners, a 2016 study found.

In fact, the more closely one looks at what passes for “common sense” gun laws, the more feckless they appear. Americans who claim to be outraged by gun crimes should want to do something more than tinker at the margins of a legal regime that most of the developed world rightly considers nuts. They should want to change it fundamentally and permanently.

Holy shit, this is the most honest assessment of the gun control movement I’ve seen in ages.

Too bad it doesn’t last:

There is only one way to do this: Repeal the Second Amendment.

Repealing the Amendment may seem like political Mission Impossible today, but in the era of same-sex marriage it’s worth recalling that most great causes begin as improbable ones. Gun ownership should never be outlawed, just as it isn’t outlawed in Britain or Australia. But it doesn’t need a blanket Constitutional protection, either. The 46,445 murder victims killed by gunfire in the United States between 2012 and 2016 didn’t need to perish so that gun enthusiasts can go on fantasizing that “Red Dawn” is the fate that soon awaits us.

Oh ok dude.  You just spent paragraphs telling us how the gun control movement argues in bad faith and now you want to repeal the constitutional protection that prevents firearms from being banned from ownership.

Let’s also not pretend that banning & confiscation wouldn’t be immediately put on the menu.  You know how I know this? Because even with the 2nd Amendment protections, gun control zealots frequently propose just that.  Here’s a bill that was put forward for banning firearms in Wisconsin.  Here’s another one in Missouri.  Here’s one in Georgia that called for confiscation.  California & New York both have already passed bills that ban firearms & do not allow for grandfathered possession, with New York using their registration database to require turning them in or destroying them – notice that the firearms referenced are .22lr rifles, deemed illegal because they have a magazine capacity greater than 5 rounds.

Let’s not pretend that allowing people to own a single shot .22LR or over & under shotgun, stored at a hunting club, isn’t effectively banning firearms ownership.

I wonder what Madison would have to say about that today, when more than twice as many Americans perished last year at the hands of their fellows as died in battle during the entire Revolutionary War. My guess: Take the guns—or at least the presumptive right to them—away. The true foundation of American exceptionalism should be our capacity for moral and constitutional renewal, not our instinct for self-destruction.

How would the the Founding Fathers feel about privately owned guns? Dude, they issued Letters of Marque to allow for privately owned warships.  They had personally owned cannons. The Brown Bess rifle commonly owned by citizens was better than what was issued to the Continental Army.

Heck, even your math is bad – the population of the US during the Revolutionary war was roughly 2.5 million.  Regarding casualties during the Revolutionary war:

Throughout the course of the war, an estimated 6,800 Americans were killed in action, 6,100 wounded, and upwards of 20,000 were taken prisoner. Historians believe that at least an additional 17,000 deaths were the result of disease, including about 8,000–12,000 who died while prisoners of war.

America’s population today is 330 million, or 132 times greater than in 1776.  Let’s do some simple math:

6,800 war casualties times 132 = 897,600.  In comparison, we had 11,004 homicides by firearm in 2016.

So what would Madison say? He’d probably tell you to go pound sand, just in less polite terms.

Let’s talk about silencers & how the “gun safety” movement is a lie.

Silencers are in the news, with all manner of breathless fear mongering coming from various outlets.  Why? The Sportsmen’s Heritage  Recreational and Enhancement Act of 2017 (SHARE) passed through committee (on a straight party-line vote, naturally) and has been forwarded to the House of Representatives.  Attached to it is the Hearing Protection Act, which (if successful) will remove silencers from the National Firearms Act and treat them like regular Title I firearms.   Not sure what this means? Don’t worry, I’ll explain.

What’s the big deal?

If you are unfamiliar with the backstory on what silencers are & why they are restricted, David Kopel wrote an excellent article covering the history & politics of silencers.   To sum up: Hiram Maxim invented the sound suppressor back in 1909 and marketed it as a “silencer.”   Here in the US, they are fairly uncommon & if you don’t have the proper paperwork  can send you to prison for a long time.

Wait, what?  Yep, that’s right –  For some reason that nobody can figure out, Congress decided to include them in the National Firearms Act of 1934, resulting in their being treated the same as machineguns, sawed off shotguns, and hand grenades.  Under the NFA, a hollow tube with baffles is considered a Title II firearm & heavily restricted: owning one requires fingerprints, a background check, and a $200 tax stamp.   Violations of Title II firearms laws are a federal felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

With all these hoops to jump through, and harsh penalties, why do people want silencers anyhow?

Despite their portray in popular media, guns are loud.  A single gunshot can be up to 190dB – in comparison, thunder from a nearby storm is around 120dB.  Both are enough to cause immediate, permanent hearing damage because the sound is loud enough to kill hearing tissue.

Silencers are the gun equivalent of a car’s muffler – they function by taking the exhaust gases of combustion & slowing their expansion, cooling them before they escape the muzzle. The typical silencer is not particularly complex – it can’t be, because unlike an automobile muffler, the bullet has to travel in a straight line. Crude examples can be found made from converted oil filters, or can be constructed of a simple pipe, washers & steel or copper wool, and a means to attach it to the firearms barrel.  In a recent episode of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes is shown with one made from a Maglite:

 

Silencers have many benefits besides the obvious noise reduction for the shooter:

  • Increased situational awareness.  By being able to hear what is going on around you, you are safer.  You are able to communicate with others &
  • Decreased firearms recoil, which means greater accuracy.
  • Less noise pollution in the surrounding area, which is especially important around firing ranges. In some European nations they are considered an essential way to reduce noise pollution & are available without a hassle.  Glock makes a disposable model that’s around $150 that is available in various countries.

In all likelihood, if OSHA had existed when silencers were invented, they’d be mandatory equipment today.

What caused this Silencer Showdown?

It is only in recent years that use of silencers in the American firearms community has changed, largely due to three factors: inflation, military acceptance & information sharing.

Inflation: When Maxim invented the silencer, Pistol models sold for $5, rifle versions were $7, or around $125 in 2017 dollars.  The National Firearms Act added $200 to that cost, effectively banning them from anyone other than the rich –   $200 in 1934 is the equivalent of $4959 in 2017.  Thanks to the magic of inflation, a $200 tax stamp no longer is the hurdle it once was, and in the last decade silencer, short barrel rifle, short barrel shotgun & other NFA purchases have exploded.   Let’s face it, in 1934 $200 on a $5 item was a big deal; but $200 today? That’s a monthly cell phone bill.

Military use: Silencers have been in military service since WWI, where they were issued to snipers & sharpshooters.  In WWII, they were found in various capacities from the Welrod Pistol to the Deslisle Destroyer Carbine to Silenced Sten. Vietnam saw a variant of the S&W M39 called the Mk 22 “Hush Puppy” that was used by SEALs for eliminating guard dogs & sentries, along with Silenced Swedish K “K Guns” used by both Special Forces & CIA personnel.

This continued into the modern era.  Well aware of the advantages that silencers provided, military units made them a requirement on weapons systems solicitations; in the mid 90s the Special Operations Peculiar MODification (SOPMOD) kit had a sound suppressor for each rifle.  When the Global War on Terror ramped up, Special Operations became even more important & capabilities needed to be filled.  The M110 was issued as a designated marksman’s rifle, putting silencers into the hands of riflemen.

Traditional media, Social media & word of mouth: In 2010, there had been a grand total of 285,087 silencers registered since 1934.  That would soon change.

The internet allowed firearms enthusiasts to communicate from around the world.  As such, those with actual experience using silencers, industry representatives & potential buyers were able join together. Information sharing via sites like AR15.com (est 1997), SilencerTalk, (created in 2006), tactical industry publications, & word of mouth allowed end users to become more educated on silencer effectiveness, how to obtain their own, or in some cases make them with ATF approval.  No longer was the NFA a mystery, and a niche market was even created to simplify the process by connecting firearms lawyers with clients.

Social media further spread information, from digital photos taken by service members to companies like Advanced Armament Corporation (AAC), Surefire & Gemtech taking part in  discussions.   These companies leveraged their knowledge gained from servicing military & law enforcement customers into providing better quality products to both law enforcement & civilian buyers.  Detailed specifications allowed comparison shopping. YouTube channels like Hickok45 featured silencer use & others explained the science behind them.   Industry leading manufacturers formed the American Suppressor Association in 2014 to help educate & reform silencer laws at both the state & federal level; through their efforts it is now legal to hunt with a silencer equipped firearm in 42 states.  Finally, large firearms manufacturers entered the market: Remington acquired AAC, SIG-Sauer created their own silencer division, and just this year S&W bought Gemtech.

By 2015, silencer ownership had exploded. CNN noted the drastic increase in silencer sales:

The number of registered silencers surged 38% from last year to 792,282 in February 2015, according to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. There were 571,750 licenses in March 2014.

A year later there were 900,000 silencers in circulation. In February 2017 there were 1.3 million and the numbers continue to increase.

Even some people at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives have changed their minds on their being restricted, stating in a whitepaper that:

[T]he reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated.

The Free Beacon has confirmed that silencers are rarely used in crimes, with roughly 44 instances a year.

“Consistent with this low number of prosecution referrals, silencers are very rarely used in criminal shootings,” Turk wrote. “Given the lack of criminality associated with silencers, it is reasonable to conclude that they should not be viewed as a threat to public safety necessitating [National Firearms Act] classification, and should be considered for reclassification under the [Gun Control Act].”

Even in 2014 the ATF was having a difficult time keeping up with the ever increasing demands for NFA items.   Eventually they changed to a 7 day workweek and increased NFA branch personnel nearly threefold in order to try to combat growing delays.   Wait times for NFA transfers continued to increase.  The existing system wasn’t working, and wasn’t helped by a new Obama-era rule change called 41f that further increased paperwork to be processed – wait times were expected to double.  In anticipation of the rules changes, people rushed to get their paperwork in so their purchases would be “grandfathered” – Silencerco reportedly submitted $2,000,000 worth of NFA stamp applications in a single day.  If those were all silencers or machineguns, that’s 10,000 applications.

The ATF whitepaper gives an insider’s view:

The wide acceptance of silencers and corresponding changes in state laws have created substantial demand across the country. This surge in demand has caused ATF to have a  significant backlog on silencer applications. ATF’s processing time is now approximately 8 months. ATF has devoted substantial resources in attempts to reduce processing times, spending over $1 million annually in overtime and temporary duty expenses, and dedicating over 33 additional full-time and contract positions since 2011 to support NFA processing.

Put it another way: by keeping silencers restricted, it’s having a negative effect on law enforcement, because administration is draining resources.  That is money spent on personnel & paperwork and is not spent on criminal investigations.

Things come to a head

Enter the Hearing Protection Act of 2015, which had the objective of changing silencers from Title II weapons, to Title I & treated the same as regular firearms  The HPA eventually picked up 82 cosponsors, but was not passed in the 2015-16 session.  With the 2016 election under way, it was tabled; Clinton had campaigned on increasing firearms restrictions across the board, and was favored to win.

With Trump’s surprise victory & Republican control of both the Senate & House, there was an opportunity.  Donald Trump Jr, an avid hunter, spearheaded efforts to reduce silencer regulations. The Hearing Protection Act was dusted off, reintroduced to the house as HPA 2017. It was then referred to the House Ways and Means Committee, followed by the House Judiciary, where it languished until June, when it was attached to the SHARE Act.  SHARE already had strong bipartisan approval and incorporated a number of changes that the firearms community had been seeking for decades.

So let’s talk about the “gun safety” movement & their objections to this bill.

Naturally the possibility of silencer restrictions being eased has caused a panic in the anti-gun movement & media allies.  Everytown produced a litany of fear mongering nonsense.  The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank panicked and vomited forth a massive amount of hyperbole including talk of howitzers & Stinger missiles (which the NRA quickly debunked). The Huffington Post claims deregulation is a ploy of the gun industry in order to combat the “Trump Slump” (which doesn’t exist, but I’ll address that in another article).

Rather than address each article, let’s talk about…

Common Myths Surrounding Silencers

Myth #1: Silencers completely eliminate the sound of a gunshot! 

Despite their portrayal in movies & television, silencers do not reduce a gunshot to a kitten sneezing.  In fact:

  •  a rifle with a silencer is still as loud as the operations deck of an aircraft carrier;
  • a pistol with a silencer is as loud as a jackhammer.

Even the CEO of ShotSpotter, a system used to detect gunfire in several cities, states that the Shotspotter system can still detect firearms equipped with silencers.

“In regard to gun silencers, it is more accurate to call them suppressors, as they suppress the impulsive sound of gunfire, not wholly eliminate it,” said Ralph Clark, the chief executive of ShotSpotter. “We have successfully if not inadvertently detected confirmed suppressed gunfire within our existing deployments. Although we have not formally tested the theoretical impact to our system, we intend to do some targeted testing in the near future. We believe we will have various options ranging from increasing our sensor array density to developing software/firmware to address the detection of suppressed gunfire if it were to become a widespread issue.”

Despite what some may claim, a silencer will not make a mass shooter more deadly, or hunter less safe.

Myth #2: Restricting them has kept them out of the hands of criminals!

This is a great example of correlation not equaling causation, or the Simpsons example of the tiger-repellent rock.  Strict silencer laws have not, in fact, kept them out of the hands of criminals; rather their use is just not given much media play because criminals breaking the law with heavily restricted items goes against the narrative.  Examples:

Over a half dozen examples in the last two years, with many more probably not even reported on.

So why aren’t criminals using silencers?  Probably because most criminals use small, concealable handguns and adding 9-12″ to the barrel makes them much more difficult to tuck into a belt.

Myth #3: People don’t need silencers, they can just wear earplugs!

First, let’s start with the research: The CDC did a study in 2011 titled, “Noise and Lead Exposures at an Outdoor Firing Range ─ California”.  In it, they stated:

The only potentially effective noise control method to reduce students’ or instructors’ noise exposure from gunfire is through the use of noise suppressors that can be attached to the end of the gun barrel.

The common sense approach to a loud noise is to muffle the item causing it, not to expect everyone in the area to be equipped with ear protection.  It’s only when that is not possible that additional hearing protection is suggested, which is why cars have mufflers instead of expecting drivers & passengers to wear ear plugs.

Second, when carrying a firearm for self defense, it is not possible or practical to wear ear plugs or muffs at all times.  There are over 16 million people with concealed carry permits in the United States, and unknown numbers of people who concealed carry in the 13 states with Constitutional Carry.  Each one runs the risk of permanent hearing loss should they be forced to defend themselves.

In addition, wearing ear plugs or muffs reduces safety, not increases it.  With hearing protection on, all sound is reduced, not just the gunshot, resulting in a loss of situational awareness:

  • Hunters cannot hear other people in the woods.
  • A homeowner inside their house will not be able to effectively hear an intruder’s movements – or police commands if they make entry.
  • Students receiving instruction have to learn to overcome the blast & recoil, rather than concentrating on form & control.
  • The areas surrounding firing ranges have increased levels of noise pollution.

Myth #4: If silencers are easier to get, there will be more criminals using silencers!

While I already addressed this partially with Myth #1 & how guns are still loud even with a silencer attached, this argument really requires a leap in logic to believe.

First, seized firearms figures show that most criminals use small & inexpensive handguns for crime.  The Trace was kind enough to provide data from Chicago PD which had inexpensive models from Ruger, Hi-Point, & other manufacturers dominating.  A stickup artist is not going to add 9-12″ of suppressor to the barrel of their firearm making it harder to conceal… not to mention doubling or tripling the price.

Second, there were also huge numbers of revolvers present, which cannot be effectively silenced due to the gap between the cylinder & the barrel. This throws additional cold water on potential criminal silencer use.

Silencers are a Public Health issue

Obviously the medical community must have something to say about this, right?

Surprise! They’ve been refusing to comment at all.  The silence of medical groups is something that has not gone unnoticed by the firearms community.  You’d think that decriminalizing a device that will prevent medical injury would be a no-brainer for medical professionals, but:

[T]he American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, and the American Academy of Pediatrics not only refuse to support doing away with the outdated restrictions. They won’t even promote the use of suppressors as a valuable public health solution.

Even the group representing ear doctors, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, has decided officially to refuse their support of both this hearing-saving tool and the legislation that would make it widely available to their patients.

Usually eager to try to force further gun control under the guise of “Public Health” the medical community has been strangely quiet. There are no shortage of articles in medical journals advocating for stricter firearms laws, from background checks to “safe storage” to banning assault weapons, none of which have a proven track record of success at effecting, never mind reducing harm.  Yet when it comes to easing access to something that has empirically measurable, demonstrated effectiveness at preventing injury, they have nothing to say.

This, right here, reveals just how bankrupt the “gun safety” movement is.

 

Gun Control is Doomed to Failure: The “Aluminum Can” AR-15 build.

Spotted on The Firearm Blog, a hobbyist machinist fabricated his own AR-15 lower receiver.  Big deal, some people will scoff, “80% lower builds are nothing new.”

Well, this actually is a big deal, because this guy took around 250 aluminum cans, melted them down in a backyard forge, poured them into ingots, and then created his own billet of aluminum stock:

With milling machines & lathes available off Amazon, technology is increasingly available to the end user; there is no longer a giant barrier to entry in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment in machinery.

Cody Wilson’s Ghost Gunner is merely a simplified version of what the above youtuber did.  You can’t stop the signal.

NY DA doesn’t want CCW reciprocity… because ISIS. For real?

CNN took a break from being complete garbage to allow  New York District Attorney Vance a chance at bat:

Manhattan DA: This bill could turn your city into the Wild West

Blood will RUN in the STREETS!!!!  Where have we heard that before? Oh yeah, every single anti-gun argument since CCW reform began in the late 80s.

I’m proud to say that New York remains the safest big city in the nation, at least according to the Economist’s Safe Cities Index.

But this progress could come to a screeching halt if the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, known as CCRA, passes Congress. Every state has had the right to craft its own firearms licensing laws. In New York, we have crafted our laws to consider unique factors like our state’s population density, culture and history. The CCRA would override our state’s restrictive concealed-weapons permitting system and force New York to honor concealed-carry firearms privileges issued in other states, even though many other states have much looser standards.

Simply put, this means that the gun laws of Arkansas, for example, could be forced upon New York by federal mandate. I can only imagine how angry citizens of Arkansas would be if Washington politicians forced them to follow laws from New York.

Without a hint of irony, he manages to ignore how hated the NY SAFE Act is outside of NYC itself.  Hilarious!

Consider this: Eleven states grant concealed-carry privileges to individuals who have not undergone any safety training. Twenty states grant permits to people who have been convicted of violent crimes. And 12 states do not require any kind of permit or license to carry a concealed firearm. The CCRA would make it legal for someone to carry that concealed, loaded firearm into New York or anyplace else, regardless of local law.

How awful.  Why, the concealed carry holders of those states must be wanton criminals and those states are awash with violence committed by them, right? Strange that the DA couldn’t summon any information supporting that unspoken assumption, probably because as the Texas Department of Public Safety shows, CCW holders are much more law abiding than the general population.

So police officers are against this bill.

Uh, no, they aren’t.   Looking at that letter, it’s signed by the following organizations:

Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA)
International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA)
International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP)
Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA)
National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE)
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)
Police Executive Research Forum (PERF)
Police Foundation (PF)

Missing from this is an endorsement of the largest police group, the Fraternal Order of Police, not to mention huge numbers of other organizations populated by rank & file officers.  In fact, I notice that this endorsement list is heavy on Command level endorsements, and scant on support from line officers.  This isn’t surprising, since police executives, administrators, and command staff are largely politically appointed & reflect the politics of their mayors.

In fact, when PoliceOne asked their members about their thoughts on armed citizens, the officers uniformly responded that they believed CCW was a good thing and helped reduce crime:

More than 91 percent of respondents support the concealed carry of firearms by civilians who have not been convicted of a felony and/or not been deemed psychologically/medically incapable.

A full 86 percent feel that casualties would have been reduced or avoided in recent tragedies like Newtown and Aurora if a legally-armed citizen was present (casualties reduced: 80 percent; avoided altogether: 60 percent).

Now that the ‘cops support a ban on CCW reciprocity!’ nonsense is debunked, let’s return to Vance’s fearmongering:

Who would actually be for this bill? I can offer one answer: ISIS.

According to George Washington University’s Extremism Tracker, New York is the top ISIS terror target in America. Meanwhile, ISIS is increasingly recruiting radicalized attackers to murder as many people as possible, using any means available.

Let’s not kid ourselves: ISIS is following the gun debate. Look no further than Rumiyah, its official magazine and how-to guide for terror. In its May 2017 issue, under a section titled “Just Terror Tactics,” ISIS specifically told aspiring terrorists how to exploit America’s lax gun laws to commit mass shootings on our soil:

“In most US states, anything from a single-shot shotgun all the way up to a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle can be purchased at showrooms or through online sales — by way of private dealers — with no background checks, and without requiring an ID or a gun license.”

The CCRA is a gift to these terrorists.

What.

Let’s break down how mindbogglingly stupid this argument is.

Right now, Europe is in the midst of a terror crisis, with automobiles being used to murder & wound dozens at a time.  After the latest attack in Barcelona, responding officers shot 5 terrorists who reportedly were wearing suicide vests.  A single van killed 13 and injured at least 120 people.  No word yet if NY DA Vance is going to call for banning motor vehicles within city limits, or banning driver’s licenses from other states.

Despite New York’s draconian firearms laws, somehow crimes are still being committed there.  There’s no magic barrier at the city or state line that prevents a firearm from coming in, so pretending that a ban on CCW reciprocity will prevent ISIS from smuggling in firearms is absurd, especially when a group of jihadists can use credit cards and rent a few moving vans from Budget or U-Haul and plow them through pedestrians.

Or using them as VBIEDs.

Thanks for the laugh, Vance.  I hope you do better prep work on criminals because this was weak.

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:

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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.