This guy gets it: “I carry a gun every day”

A great article, well worth the read:

Every day I get up and put on a gun. It’s part of my daily routine. No different from making coffee or feeding the dogs before I leave for work.

There is so much misinformation about who that makes me. I’m a “gun nut.” I’m one of “those right-wing Second Amendment people.” I’m the scourge of the earth to some.

Funny how that works.

They don’t even know me but they are worried that I’m what’s wrong with this country, this state and this city I call home. I walk among them and they don’t even know it. I’m the guy in the jeans and Under Armour shirt, the guy in the $200 sport coat and $125 shoes, the guy in Nike pants and a hoodie, and some days I’m the guy with dirty hands from working in the yard, but most of all I’m the guy they never see.

Oh, they acknowledge me sometimes. When I hold the door for them because my parents raised me that way. When I let them go ahead of me in line at the gas station because they seem to be in a hurry. When I pick up their baby’s pacifier in the aisle at the grocery store and hand it back to them because it fell out and they didn’t notice. But they don’t see me. I’m just another guy in the store with things in my hand. But only my left hand. I don’t carry things in my right hand. Not at the store. Not in public.

Why? Because I’m “that guy.” I know that bad things happen. Every day. Everywhere. So I try to be aware. I try to study my surroundings. I expect to not see it coming every time. I expect that evil may show up while I’m shopping or walking through the mall or eating at a restaurant. It doesn’t make me crazy. It doesn’t make me paranoid. It simply makes me aware. Unlike a lot of people that walk by me every day. Looking at their phones, their notes, their purses, or any of the other distractions that plague us. I get it.

I also get that there are wolves. Hungry. Lean. Skilled at their trade. Studying you. Studying me. They like you. They don’t like me. I see them at the mall. I see them at the gas station. I see them right here in this town. Do they know I’m armed? No, they don’t. They know that I’m aware. I look at them. Kill them with kindness. It’s a like a mutual agreement. I see you; you see me. Let’s not kid each other.

Read the whole thing


The Myth of firearms “accidents” and how common they are

Sure enough, a tragedy has occurred and the usual suspects have lined up with pitchforks and torches.

This garbage editorial by Michael Cohen is but one example

Earlier this month I wrote about an unimaginable tragedy — the death of two Oklahoma residents, one a young mother, shot in the head while changing her daughter’s diaper; the other a 23-year-old man, surrounded by his family as they admired a new rifle, which went off accidentally and killed him.What made both killings so horrible was that they were at the hands of children; two 3 year-old boys to be exact. In the mother’s case, she was struck down by her own son.Yet, only a few weeks later here we are again. Another young mother, Veronica Rutledge, this time shopping at a Walmart in Idaho. Her 2-year-old son finds a loaded gun in her purse, pulls the trigger and in the blink of an eye, she is gone — leaving behind a child whose life is forever shattered.
Notice how he acts like this sort of incident is commonplace.  Unfortunately, the statistics disagree with him:
Unintentional Firearm Deaths 

2012 Deaths: 548
2011 Deaths: 591
2010 Deaths: 606
2009 Deaths: 554
2008 Deaths: 592

Source: CDC WISQARS Database, Fatal Injury Reports


It should be noted that this isn’t deaths per 100,000 – this is the total number of unintentional firearms death for the entire population of the US, all age groups from <1 to 85.  Each year there are roughly 600 unintentional firearms deaths total.

Of course, when you narrow the scope down to minors, children 18 & under, the number of unintentional firearms deaths decreases even further.

Unintentional Firearm Deaths Ages <1 through 18:

2012: 94
2011: 124
2010: 114
2009: 96
2008: 110

So, now that this bit of dishonesty is cleared up, let’s get to the biggest problem of the article:

This goes to the issue of gun safety. Mandatory gun safes for homes with young children, gun locks, tougher penalties for parents who allow children to get access to a weapon, public education on the dangers of unsecured guns in the home — there are basic steps that will barely reduce the number of gun deaths in America but could potentially protect children from the consequences of this nation’s gun culture. They are also the kind of measures that every American — no matter where they stand on the issue of gun control — should be able to agree on.

This is the heart of the matter: it’s not about the gun safety, it’s about making firearms ownership as difficult and expensive as possible.   What is especially disgusting is that he’s calling for public education on firearms – not to teach people their proper use, but how they they are a danger.

Can you imagine the outrage and furious condemnation that would occur if firearms safety & education took place in schools?  They don’t want children to know how to safely handle a firearm to prevent injury – they just want indoctrination on how “dangerous” they are.  When you point out the utter failure of “abstinence only” education with regards to sex ed, however, they refuse to see the parallel.

Background Check Denials and a lack of prosecutions for these violations.

“We need stronger enforcement of existing laws!” is  a common refrain when people talk about enacting further gun control.  Nowhere is this more pronounced than prosecutions of straw purchasing and background check violations.

President Obama has taken heat over this in a variety of forms, with claims that gun prosecutions are down 40% during his administration:

During the six years data is available for former President George W. Bush’s administration — 2002-2003 and 2005-2008 — a total of 628 federal cases were prosecuted as a result of failed background checks. That averages about 105 annually.

Only two years of statistics are available for Obama’s administration: 77 cases were prosecuted in 2009 and 44 in 2010. That averages to about 61 annually. Another year of data should be released this summer.


But really, firearms prosecutions aren’t a priority under any administration.

A study was done highlighting this –

Check out the figures.  The feds don’t really care about going after cases that aren’t fast & easy wins.  The top number of prosecutions fall under the following categories:

  • Unlawful shipment, transfer, receipt, or possession by a felon
  • Use/carry of firearm during crime of violence/drug trafficking offense
  • Receive/possess firearm not register in National Firearm Registration
  • Receipt or possession of a stolen firearm and ammunition
  • Unlawful possession by an Alien unlawfully in the United States
  • Unlawful shipment, transfer, receipt, or possession by a drug addict

but the one we are most concerned with for this topic is this:

False/Fictitious statements in order to acquire a firearm/ammunition

According to the study linked above, this accounts for less than 200 prosecutions every year.  Yet, whenever someone talks about the need for background checks (in particular, Universal Background Checks) they talk about the number of criminals stopped by the background check system.  The FBI claims there were 88,479 NICS denials in 2012. The number of prosecutions? 170

It’s just not a priority.

And really, in the eyes of the prosecutors, why should they be? The Feds have limited time, money, and resources when it comes to trying cases.  If there’s a bug under their bonnet, they won’t hesitate to bring the full weight of the government down on someone, but in the meantime they are just like anyone else – they want to do their job and get promoted.  

The best way to do that? Win cases.  Win lots of cases and get lots of convictions and make sure that they are sexy ones.  You know what’s sexy? Terrorism. Drug trafficking.  Organized Crime / RICO.  Corruption.  Getting a conviction on a someone for 500lbs of dope or 100 kilos of coke / heroin will help a career.  Same with human trafficking.  Same with a politician.  You know what doesn’t look good? Putting away some single mother or the girlfriend of a criminal who straw purchased a couple Glocks for her thrice-convicted boyfriend.

Plus, gun cases are hard to convict because they require work.  You have to investigate.  You have to prove intent.  You have to do actual leg work; you don’t get to swoop in and take the credit for some State Trooper finding drugs in the back of a truck.
So the feds don’t like gun cases, and really they shouldn’t be a priority anyhow because let’s face it – it’s a stupid crime to begin with.  Their focus should rightly be on people committing violent crimes, or large traffickers.

Another reason not to like gun registries – government incompetence

DC Police Dept ‘Loses’ Gun Owners’ Fingerprints, Forces Them to Pay Fee to Re-Register

The District of Columbia is the only jurisdiction in America in which gun owners have to re-register their guns with the government every three years. The mandate was enforced at the beginning of this year. Now, the Metropolitan Police Department has been sending notices to residents with registered firearms to come down to their headquarters to be fingerprinted. The only problem is, most people are resisting the demand.

Because of the police department’s own incompetence, gun owners have to fork over another $35 for the fingerprinting fee, as well as $13 for the gun registration fee – per gun. Not to mention the gas they have to pay to make another trip to police headquarters – for no reason.

Volokh – Why not regulate guns like cars?

Eugene Volokh is one of the great constitutional lawyers of our day and age and is pro-gun as all get out.  Check out this dismantling of the typical anti-gun “Why not regulate guns like cars?” argument:

A commenter on a recent thread asked — seemingly from a pro-gun-control perspective — “Why can’t guns be treated like cars, regulated and available, only to those who demonstrate competence and compliance with laws?” That is a perfect excuse for me to reprise my analysis of the guns-cars analogy.

Cars are basically regulated as follows (I rely below on California law, but to my knowledge the rules are similar throughout the country):

(1) No federal licensing or registration of car owners.

(2) Any person may use a car on his own private property without any license or registration. See, e.g., California Vehicle Code §§ 360, 12500 (driver’s license required for driving on “highways,” defined as places that are “publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel”); California Vehicle Code § 4000 (same as to registration).

(3) Any adult — and in most states, 16- and 17-year-olds, as well — may get a license to use a car in public places by passing a fairly simple test that virtually everyone can pass.

(4) You can lose your license for proved misuse of the car, but not for most other misconduct; and even if you lose your driver’s license, you can usually regain it some time later.

(5) Your license from one state is good throughout the country.

This is pretty much how many gun rights advocates would like to see guns regulated, and is in fact pretty close to the dominant model in the over 40 states that now allow pretty much any law-abiding adult to get a license to carry a concealed weapon: No need to register or get a license to have a gun at home, and a simple, routine test through which any law-abiding citizen can get a state license to carry a gun in public. And even if we require a test for all possession of a gun, at home or in public — again, something that’snot required for cars — that would still mean that pretty much any law-abiding adult (or 16- or 17-year-old) would be able to easily get a license to carry a gun. That would provide more functional gun rights in the remaining non-shall-issue states (including, for instance, New York) than is provided under current gun regulations.

Now I suspect that many gun control advocates would in reality prefer a much more onerous system of regulations for guns than for cars. Of course, one can certainly argue that guns should be regulated more heavily than cars; thoughtful gun control advocates do indeed do this. But then one should candidly admit that one is demanding specially burdensome regulation for guns — and not claim to be merely asking “why can’t guns be treated like cars?”

Incidentally, I don’t claim any great originality on these points: Others have made them before me, see, e.g., David Kopel’s “Taking It to the Streets,” Reason, Nov. 1999. But some things are worth repeating.

Where do the guns in Mexico come from? A great article

The entire article is pro-click but here’s the first section:

As we discussed in a previous analysis, the 90 percent number was derived from a June 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to Congress on U.S. efforts to combat arms trafficking to Mexico (see external link).

According to the GAO report, some 30,000 firearms were seized from criminals by Mexican authorities in 2008. Of these 30,000 firearms, information pertaining to 7,200 of them (24 percent) was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for tracing. Of these 7,200 guns, only about 4,000 could be traced by the ATF, and of these 4,000, some 3,480 (87 percent) were shown to have come from the United States.

This means that the 87 percent figure relates to the number of weapons submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF that could be successfully traced and not from the total number of weapons seized by Mexican authorities or even from the total number of weapons submitted to the ATF for tracing. In fact, the 3,480 guns positively traced to the United States equals less than 12 percent of the total arms seized in Mexico in 2008 and less than 48 percent of all those submitted by the Mexican government to the ATF for tracing. This means that almost 90 percent of the guns seized in Mexico in 2008 were not traced back to the United States.

The remaining 22,800 firearms seized by Mexican authorities in 2008 were not traced for a variety of reasons. In addition to factors such as bureaucratic barriers and negligence, many of the weapons seized by Mexican authorities either do not bear serial numbers or have had their serial numbers altered or obliterated. It is also important to understand that the Mexican authorities simply don’t bother to submit some classes of weapons to the ATF for tracing. Such weapons include firearms they identify as coming from their own military or police forces, or guns that they can trace back themselves as being sold through the Mexican Defense Department’s Arms and Ammunition Marketing Division (UCAM). Likewise, they do not ask ATF to trace military ordnance from third countries like the South Korean fragmentation grenades commonly used in cartel attacks.

Of course, some or even many of the 22,800 firearms the Mexicans did not submit to ATF for tracing may have originated in the United States. But according to the figures presented by the GAO, there is no evidence to support the assertion that 90 percent of the guns used by the Mexican cartels come from the United States — especially when not even 50 percent of those that were submitted for tracing were ultimately found to be of U.S. origin.