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Move Over Donald. There’s A New Defender of 2nd-Amendment ‘Rights.’

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              Back in 2015, a 60-year old Black man was sitting in his living room watching TV in St. Louis when he heard noises out in his back yard. Grabbing his gun, he went out on the back porch and saw someone jump out of his car and evidently start to run towards him. The man raised the gun, pulled the trigger and a 13-year old kid was dead.

              The would-be teenage car burglar was actually trying to run around the car so that he could jump the back fence and retreat. But under Missouri’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) and Castle Doctrine (CD) laws, the shooter who had committed a felony years ago, was found guilty only of possessing an illegal gun.

              Missouri has some of the most expansive SYG and CD laws of any of the 50 states. Basically, what their laws say is that if someone comes on your property and after being warned to retreat doesn’t immediately back away, you can presume you are facing a serious threat, pull out the old shootin’ iron and bang away.

              You may recall that a year ago June, a man and his wife, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, stood on the front steps of their home in St. Louis and waved guns at a group of BLM protestors who were marching in the street. The McCloskeys both happen to be attorneys, so you would assume that they would defend their behavior by claiming their innocence under the SYG and CG laws. In fact, they claimed that they were protecting their home and themselves from a ‘mob’ that was about to storm their property and do them in.

              They were indicted for unlawful use of weapons an immediately became the poster children of the Trump campaign’s stupid attempt to make the 2nd Amendment a centerpiece of his failing re-election campaign, up to and including an appearance at the GOP convention when Trump was nominated for a second term.

              On Thursday, these two schmucks pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor which means they won’t do any jail time and can keep their licenses to practice law. Mark McCloskey is now running for Senate and here’s what his website says: ‘On June 28, 2020, and then again on July 3, 2020, Mark McCloskey and hie wife Patty, held off a violent mob through the exercise of their 2nd Amendment rights.”

As of today, contributions to the McCloskey campaign listed by the Federal Election Commission are – ready? – zero. Or as Grandpa would say – ‘gurnisht.’ Or better yet – ‘gurnisht helfen,’ which means it’s not going to work at all.

I think the Prosecutor in this case, Richard Callahan, got it right when he said, “We still have the Second Amendment rights. It’s just that the Second Amendment does not permit unreasonable conduct.”

On the other hand, when the President of the United States defends this kind of behavior, when he defends protestors who march up the steps of a State Capitol Building with their AR-15’s, when he says that a bunch of American Nazis marching around with their guns includes some ‘good people,’ he’s not just defending the 2nd Amendment.

He’s just pandering to the lowest, common mentality of all – the mentality which actually believes that walking around in a public space with an assault rifle is t he best way to protect yourself from the ‘tyranny’ of the Federal state.

Of course, somehow, don’t ask me how, the ‘tyranny’ of the national state only seems to appear when Democrats are in control or look like they may end up in control. When a Republican like Donald Trump or Mark McCloskey gets into office there’s nothing to worry about because they respect our 2nd-Amendment ‘rights.’

If we learned anything from the 2020 election, it’s that at least 81 million voting Americans don’t buy into such nonsense and are willing to help decide the country’s political stance on more realistic and honest terms.

I suspect this is also true of most voters who vote the Republican ticket whether they like the names on the GOP line or not.

The truth is that maybe, just maybe, all this nonsense about 2nd-Amdnement ‘rights’ may be ending up where it belongs. 

A New Gun Law That Could End America’s Love Affair With Guns.

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              Sooner or later, someone would figure out a way to get around the tort immunity enjoyed by the gun industry since 2005 when Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).  The law basically says that no point in the supply chain – manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer – can be held responsible for the 125,000 shooting deaths and injuries which occur every year because guns are legal products and, hence, the responsibility for how they are used can only be framed around the individual behavior of who actually used the gun to assault themselves or someone else.

              The PLCAA law does not protect gun makers from civil liability if their behavior runs counter to state laws that cover false advertising, such as the Connecticut law known as ‘negligent entrustment’ which is being used to sue the gun maker – Remington – whose gun was the instrument that killed 26 adults and children at Sandy Hook.

       The New York law goes after the gun industry for creating a public nuisance in the way it markets and sells guns, and opens the industry to civil liability if it doesn’t “establish and utilize reasonable controls and procedures to prevent its qualified products from being possessed, used, marketed or sold unlawfully in New York State.”
       In other words, if Smith & Wesson ships a gun to a licensed wholesaler in Massachusetts, who then ships it to a licensed retailer in Virginia, who then sells the gun to a licensed gun owner, who then has the gun stolen by someone who takes the gun to New York, sells it on a street corner to some dope who then pops off a round which hits some kid in the head, Smith & Wesson can be sued because the company didn’t establish ‘reasonable controls’ to prevent that entire scenario from taking place.
        What are the ‘reasonable controls’ that S&W has to put in place?  The legislation doesn’t define those controls. How do we know if S&W has created such controls? Because guns from other states will stop being picked up at crime scenes in New York. 
        Between 2010 and 2015, more than three-quarters of all the crime guns picked up in New York State were originally sold to residents of some other state. Despite the so-called ‘iron pipeline’ which brings guns up I-95 from more gun-permissive Southern states, most of the New York crime guns that came into the state were initially sold in the surrounding and adjacent states. 
        If you are Smith & Wesson, how do you prevent your products from being legally sold in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, then being stolen, or lost and somehow winding up across the Hudson River and used to commit a crime in New York? You don’t and you can’t. To protect itself from the civil liability which this law could potentially impose on S&W, the company would have to cease shipping its guns to any state which might be a source for those guns being used in a criminal event. 
        Maybe S&W could stop making guns and start making handheld power tools. Better yet, what the gun company should really do to keep itself afloat is to stop manufacturing products whose design and engineering hasn’t changed in more than one hundred years, and start looking at electronic, self-defense products like the Vipertek taser pictured above, which provides all the personal security anyone could ever need without creating any kind of liability issue at all.
       Last week I drove past an Apple store and there was a line around the block. For all the talk about surging gun sales, the gun shop nearest me never has more than a couple of folks waiting around to buy a gun. 
      If the New York law that gets around PLCAA begins to spread to other states, it might be the best thing that could happen to the gun industry since smokeless powder was invented in 1884. 
     And don’t worry, all the noisemakers who argue back and forth about 2nd-Amendment ‘rights will find something else to argue about, that’s for sure.

Catalog | TeeTee Press

Should Stabilizing Braces Be Regulated By The ATF?

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In his wonderful history of the Spanish Armada, Garrett Mattingly describes the Spanish Monarch, Philip II, as sitting at his desk in the Palacio Escorial, poring over documents “eyes red-rimmed, fingers aching, hard at work at his self-appointed task as Chief Clerk of the Spanish Empire.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think my little shack outside of Amherst, MA qualifies as a latter-day Escorial palace, but I do Iike to think of myself as the Chief Clerk of the Gun Violence Prevention empire, whose jobs it is to explain to all my friends in Gun-control Nation what things mean and don’t mean when it comes to guns.

In that respect, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has just released a proposal to regulate a gun accessory called a ‘stabilizing brace,’ a piece of plastic which when attached to a handgun allows the user to shoot it like a rifle, even though the short barrel means that it should be regulated as an NFA gun.  What does that mean?

It means that in order to purchase a stabilizing brace, the prospective owner has to go through a very extensive background check (actually two background checks), pay a substantial licensing fee to the U.S. Treasury, and then sit around for a couple of months until all the paperwork is processed, and he can go to the gun shop and pick up his brace.

Here’s what a standard, Glock pistol looks like:

And here’s what the same gun looks like with a stabilizing brace:

Get it?  With the brace attached to the gun, you get more stability, particularly when you are banging off a lot of shots as fast as you can. More stability means more accuracy, more accuracy means more injuries if you walk into a public space with your brace-equipped gun and start banging away. In fact, guns with stabilizing braces were used in several mass shootings over the recent months, including a shooting in Colorado this past March.

The ATF initially begun looking at the stabilizing brace issue back in December, issuing a notice that was withdrawn five days later after the usual gaggle of NRA-loving members of the GOP caucus started to squawk. Now the notice has been republished and will no doubt generate the usual pro-gun noise but Trump’s out, Joe’s in and that’s the end of that.

The stabilizing braces were sold and promoted as a device that would allow disabled military veterans to shoot their handguns even if they only had full use of one arm. Nobody really paid attention to the issue either way, and of course the moment that any product hits the market that is designed to make life easier for our wounded warriors, who would dare raise a dissenting peep?

I will if you don’t mind. And if some of my readers mind, bully for them.

First of all, anyone who has to point and shoot a handgun using only one arm is doing something which is foolish and unsafe, I don’t care whether the gun is equipped with a stabilizing brace or not. Aiming a handgun with any degree of real accuracy is difficult enough with two arms and two hands, never mind one arm, one hand and a plastic gizmo resting against your chest.

Second and more important, a gun being held in one hand that gives a pretty good kick when it goes off is a gun that is likely to be dropped on the ground or on the table in front of the bench rest.  Know what happens when guns are dropped? No matter what all the advertising says, sometimes they go off. And a gun that discharges a 9mm round at 1,200 feet per second in a direction that isn’t under the shooter’s control is a gun that isn’t safe. Period.

I used to have a collection of model trains. Sometimes I waited more than a couple of months to add a certain car to a model train. So, I waited. So what?

I would give any disabled veteran a pass on paying the NFA license fee, but what would be so bad if all the guys who want to shoot their pistols like rifles have to wait a few months before they can use their new toy?

Sandy Hook: A Man Sold A Gun (Guns in America Book 7) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael R.. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Another Gun Expert Joins The Debate And Gets It Completely Wrong.

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              It has to be my fault.  There’s simply no way that a media organization as sophisticated and professional as 24/7 Wall Street could do a story about guns and get it so completely wrong. So, I have to assume that although I have described what the FBI-NICS numbers mean at least two dozen times, obviously I’m doing it in a way that simply doesn’t allow the reporter who wrote about guns for 24/7 to get what I’m saying at all.

              Yesterday, 24/7 ran a story with a headline which said there was one state which already racked up more than 5 millions gun sales this year.  One state has already accounted for the purchase of 5 million guns?  In 2019, the total for all guns manufactured in the United States was 6.5 million, of which 200,000 were exported and the rest were sold here. Now I know the Pandemic increased gun sales exponentially in 2020, but how could one state, identified as Illinois, register more gun sales in five months this year than the total gun sales for the entire United States in 2019?

              In fact, it didn’t happen. It didn’t come close to happening.  So, I guess this means that for the umpteenth time I have to explain the meaning of those monthly FBI-NICS numbers that the reporter for 24/7 Wall Street didn’t understand at all. Here goes.

              In May, the state of Illinois connected up to the FBI-NICS call center 998,926 times. In April the number of calls from Illinois to the FBI-NICS desk was 955,439; March was 1,427,917; February was 902,029, and January was 1,002,118. Round it off and you get 5.3 million background checks for residents of Illinois.

              There’s only one little problem. Ready? Of those 5,3 million calls, roughly 245,000 (I’m rounding off) were for background checks covering the purchase of guns. The rest of those calls, the other 5.2 million calls, were for approval of new gun permits, rechecks of previously issued permits, and guns redeemed out of pawn. Illinois doesn’t yet require background checks for person-to-person private sales which in California, for example, accounts for another 7,000 – 8,000 background checks each and every month.

              What the FBI-NICS numbers really show, if the reporter for 24/7 Wall Street would like to know what he is writing about, is that the great 2020 surge in Pandemic gun sales is, like the Pandemic, beginning to slowly but surely fade away. In May 2020, Americans bought 955,278 handguns, last month that number dropped 20% to 767,314.

              The reason the reporter for 24/7 Wall Street made such a big goof is because he looked at the wrong NICS dataset published by the FBI. He based his story on the dataset which lists calls received by the NICS call center for each state but doesn’t break down the reason for the call: NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year by State — FBI.  What he should have been referencing was the dataset which shows not only the number of calls per state, but the reason why the calls were made: NICS Firearm Checks: Month/Year by State/Type — FBI

              Unfortunately, the writer of this article is not just some kid reporter. He’s Douglas McIntyre, not only Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of 24/7 Wall Street, but “an expert on corporate finance, the automotive industry, media companies and international finance. He has edited articles on national demographics, sports, personal income, and travel.” A Magna Cum Laude graduate from Harvard College, obviously McIntyre’s choice of major at America’s oldest University didn’t include a course on guns.

              Am I surprised that someone as educated and professionally experienced as Douglas McIntyre could write a story about the gun business and get it so utterly and completely wrong? To the contrary, I have to assume that his sudden interest in guns reflects an awareness that with the current political alignment in D.C., we might actually see a gun-control bill debated and even passed on Capitol Hill.

              Let’s just hope that if such a debate occurs, that our Congressional friends supporting a new law to reduce gun violence will rely on sources more accurate than 24/7 Wall Street.

Catalog | TeeTee Press

Will We Ever Have An Honest Debate About Guns?

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              So yesterday I posted a comment in which I asked my friends in Gun-control Nation to stop playing around and say what they really should say, namely, that they don’t like or want guns. I’m not saying I agree with them, by the way. I’m just saying that when it comes to guns in America, I would like to see an honest and open debate.

              In case you’re interested, the 2nd Amendment says that Americans can keep a gun in their homes, but it doesn’t say they can buy a gun. Many of the guns that colonial residents brought with them when the joined the Continental Army were handmade or homemade, which is the reason that George Washington opened the arsenal at Springfield that made military-standard guns.

              On Tuesday, the Governor of Oregon Kate Brown, signed a gun-control bill that has my friends in Gun-nut Nation all worried and upset. The bill is basically a CAP (child access prevention) law, which requires that guns must be kept locked, or locked away so that they cannot be used by kids or unqualified adults either to hurt themselves or hurt anyone else. Oregon is the 29th state to enact such a law.

              What does this law mean to all those law-abiding gun owners in Oregon who want to keep a gun at the ready in case their home is invaded by some thug? According to the opponents of this new law, locking a gun up is exactly what will invite the bad guys to break int your home.

              Unfortunately, what gun ‘rights’ groups are saying about this new law, a narrative which is being used to promote a 2022 ballot petition against the statute, happens not to be true. Because if you take the trouble to actually read the text of the law, here is what it says: “The liability imposed by subsection (3) of this section does not apply if: the person and the firearm are in the presence of the owner or possessor of the firearm.”

              In other words, if you have a gun in your home and you leave your home to go to work or to go anywhere else, the gun has to be locked or locked away. If you are the owner of the gun and you’re sitting in the living room watching TV or snoozing in the bedroom, the gun can sit there next to you, unlocked and ready to be used.

              This is exactly what I meant yesterday when I said we need an honest debate between the two sides about guns. But if the gun ‘rights’ gang tries to undo this statute in 2022 by claiming that it prevents Mister Joe Gun Owner from using his gun to protect himself, his beloved family, or the sanctity of his home, they are lying, and the debate won’t be honest at all.

              At the same time, I think my Oregon friends in Gun-control Nation also need to know what they are talking about if they want to promote or pass laws that will reduce violence when someone shoots themselves or someone else with a gun. I notice that the new Oregon law requires gun owners to report the theft or loss of a gun to the cops.

              That’s a good idea but what’s not so good is that the same section of the law says that the person reporting the missing gun “may include the serial number of the firearm.”  May include?  Are you serious?

How in God’s name will the cops track the movement of a gun from its owner to a criminal without the serial number? It can’t be done unless the gun has some sort of engraving or other unique identifying mark.

I’m really hoping that the petition to overturn this law and another petition being planned to ban assault rifles in Oregon make it to the ballot for 2022. I’m also hoping that both sides will try to argue for their positions with at least some degree of accuracy, never mind attention to the real facts.

Want To Get Rid Of The NRA?

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              I just received my annual request from Wayne LaPierre to renew my membership in the Golden Eagles program, which means I’m expected to send him a nice, big check. I’m already a Patriot Life Member – Benefactor Level and a Defender of Freedom, two other accolades which demonstrate that I send them big bucks.

              Why do I keep shelling out dough for my friends in Fairfax to piss away on various pro-gun schemes? Because I’m a gun nut, remember?  That’s what gun nuts do. They go to gun shows. They hang out with other gun nuts. They get letters from Wayne-o asking for more dough.

              I also give the Brady Campaign and Everytown $1,200 a year each and donate that much or more to the Wilderness Fund, the National Parks Conservancy and a couple of other tree-hugging outfits as well. I like to be inside the tent pissing out – on both sides. Anyway, back to Wayne-o and the NRA.

              So, Wayne’s put up a statement on the NRA website to let all the members know that he’s not going away or backing down – at least as of today. It’s a typical effort to remind the faithful that ol’ Wayne-o’s out there doing everything he can to protect our ‘rights’ to own and even walk around with our guns.

              There’s only one little problem with what he says, namely, it’s what he didn’t say which is more important than what he actually said. Because although Judge Hale gave the NRA another shot at bringing a Chapter 11 filing into his courtroom, contrary to what Wayne-o says, the judge threatened to appoint a court trustee to manage the filing. And Wayne-o needs a court-appointed trustee to take over his organization like he needs a hole in his head.

              Want to read a remarkable document about this case?  Try the 700 paragraph-long complaint filed by New York State’s Attorney General which found that Wayne-o and other NRA executives engaged in what is referred to as ‘pass-through’ financial transactions, which is a polite way of accusing the Fairfax bunch of money laundering, which is a not-so-polite way of saying that organizational money (e.g., member dues) were used in ways it shouldn’t have been used.

              How did this little scheme work? Wayne-o and other NRA managers would go out to dinner, sometimes also taking along the wives. And sometimes these fancy dinners, which could roll up a thousand-dollar tab or more, took place at fancy hotels where they were all staying for the night, or maybe a couple of nights.

              When the bill had to be paid, someone pulled out a corporate credit card issued to them by the NRA’s public-relations firm, Ackerman-McQueen. So, an NRA employee paid for a non-business activity with a credit card issued not by his employer, but by a vendor to the NRA who would then include this charge in the monthly invoice submitted to the NRA. Cute, isn’t it?

              Here’s what Wayne-o says about the New York AG’s suit: “Her subsequent pursuit of the NRA has been characterized by many legal experts and constitutional scholars as a gross weaponization of legal and regulatory power.” These must be the same ‘legal experts’ whose attempts to overturn the 2020 election results were thrown out by more than 60 courts. 

              Notwithstanding what I have just said, in my book about the NRA I actually conclude that the organization needs to remain in business and that Wayne-o should also be kept on board. Why do I say this?  Because if you think the NRA is some kind of crazy, misinformed, and extreme gun-rights organization, you haven’t met the competition, okay?

              For example, check out the Virginia Citizens Defense League. They don’t believe in any kind of background checks because they can’t find the phrase ‘background checks’ in the Constitution, so obviously background checks shouldn’t exist. Then there’s Larry Pratt, who runs Gun Owners of America, and believes that we need to be armed until Jesus Christ returns because “until Christ comes again, people will be sinful.”

              Want to deal with those schmucks? Like many of my Gun-control Nation friends, they’re just waiting and hoping the NRA will disappear.

Welcome To The NRA – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

A New Book On The NRA – By Me!

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              This morning I am pleased to announce the publication of the tenth book I have written about guns since I published the first volume in 2013. All my gun books are contributions to the ongoing argument about guns in American society, and I hope they contribute some reality to both sides of the debate.

              The latest volume deals with a topic which has probably been the most contentious of all topics in that debate, namely, the role and activities of America’s ‘oldest civil rights organization,’ a.k.a, the NRA.

              I have been a member of the NRA since 1955 when I joined the NRA-sponsored rifle team which practiced in the shooting range in McFarland Junior High School in – ready? – Washington, D.C. The NRA was then located in downtown DC, and I spent many an afternoon wandering around the gun displays on the group’s first floor of its headquarters building.

              My book, like all my books, is not designed to promote one or the other side of the gun debate. I’ll leave advocacy about guns and gun violence to the advocates. All I’m trying to do in this hundred-page account is explain how and why the NRA found itself in its current legal and financial state, how and why it may not be able to dig itself out of its current hole, and how and why it might try to survive the current storm.

              Why should the NRA try to survive? Because if you think the NRA is extreme, you haven’t met up with the competition that wants to lead the gun ‘rights’ fight. Take the pro-gun group in Virginia, for example, which is pushing a ‘sanctuary city’ movement to prevent the state’s new gun-control rules from taking effect. The group has found a willing ally in Sheriff Scott Jenkins of Culpeper County, who says he will ‘deputize’ any County resident who wants to be exempt from having to obey all state gun laws.

              What if the Proud Boys or the Boogaloo bunch were to start promoting gun ‘rights’ because, after all, the country is on the verge of another civil war? Want to try and sit down with those morons and have an open and honest discussion about guns? Go right ahead.

              I’m not saying that the NRA’s malfeasance should be excused or exonerated in any way. Much of the Trumpian rhetoric about ‘fake news’ and ‘deep state’ conspiracies was first broadcast and spread around by media hucksters like Dana Loesch and Grant Stinchfield on NRA-TV. For that matter, the NRA is certainly not blameless for how the GOP continues to foster the racism, stupidity, and hate-filled rhetoric of people like Majorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz.

              Until the Pandemic shut down public gatherings, the fairgrounds across the Connecticut River from Springfield, MA was the site of a gun show every three months. The show, like most gun shows, is sponsored by the NRA which always has a booth near the entrance so that new people can join.  If I walked up to somebody who had just paid NRA dues, tapped them on the shoulder and asked them if they realized that their newly-joined organization was responsible for a level of gun violence across the river which exceeded gun violence rates in Honduras or South Africa, they would stare at me in disbelief.

              And well they should. The fact that incontrovertible research proves that a gun in the home is much more of a risk than a benefit is all fine and well if you develop or firm up your beliefs about public health by reading the latest evidence-based, scientific research. How many American adults still haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19?

              The NRA, like the industry it represents, develops its messaging through a very conservative lens. What the organization says about guns is what it believes a majority of Americans also believe. It follows public opinion, not the other way around.

              Too bad that when it came to Trump, the boys from Fairfax got it all wrong.

Kindle Edition: Welcome To The NRA – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Print edition coming shortly.

Should We Get Rid Of PLCAA? Why Bother?

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              If there is one thing that all my friends in Gun-control Nation seem to agree on, it’s the idea that we have to get rid of PLCAA, a 2005 law which protects the gun industry against class-action (tort) suits. But even though it sounds like a good idea because, after all, no sane, rational individual would ever want gun makers to escape responsibility for the 125,000 victims of gun violence every year, I’m not so sure that getting rid of PLCAA would change anything at all.

              The law was the gun-industry’s counter-offensive to an attempt by the Clinton Administration to make the gun industry accept a plan (put together by then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo) which would have required gun makers to adopt a self-regulating program that basically would have ended the retail sale of guns in the United States. And because the plan required the gun industry to adopt and enforce the plan themselves, no amount of kvetching about the ‘loss’ of 2nd-Amendment ‘rights’ would have done any good at all.

              Basically, the Clinton-Cuomo plan would have required every gun manufacturer to hire hundreds of people who would go around, visit every, single retail store that sold one of its guns once a year, conduct a full safety inspection of the premises, deliver a seminar on gun safety, and file a report on each visit which would then be forwarded to the government for review.

              In fact, because Smith & Wesson was owned by a British investment group which didn’t know a gun from a hole in the wall, the owners decided to adopt the plan, in return for which the Clinton Administration promised that S&W would be shielded from class-action suits. The resultant boycott by gun wholesalers and retailers almost shuttered the company’s doors except that some Palm Beach County votes were thrown out, Bush beat Gore, and that was the end of that.

              In fact, a class-action suit against the gun industry brought by the NAACP had been floating around Federal Judge Jack Weinstein’s courtroom for a couple of years, the real ‘civil rights’ organization (as opposed to the NRA’s nonsense) charging gun makers with consciously flooding inner-city, high-crime neighborhoods with their products, thus provoking too many deaths and injuries from guns.

              Ultimately, Judge Weinstein was forced to terminate the suit because the NAACP couldn’t demonstrate ‘standing’ in the case. And while Weinstein later said he believed the plaintiffs had a strong case, I’m not so sure that the guns which wind up being used to commit injuries in what we now refer to as the ‘underserved’ neighborhoods are being shipped into those neighborhoods when they leave the UPS truck pulls away from the factory loading dock.

              The reason that Gun-control Nation wants to get rid of PLCAA is because most gun-control advocates believe that by promoting the idea that a gun can protect its owner from being harmed, that the gun manufacturers are consciously and deliberately trying to deceive consumers into believing that guns aren’t as dangerous as many of us would like to believe.

              Unfortunately, the idea that the gun industry plays down the intrinsic dangerousness of its products is a myth which happens not to be true. In fact, gun makers are required to alert consumers to the potential danger, up to and including fatal danger, if their products are mis-used.

              The picture above is the front page of the safety manual which goes with every gun manufactured and sold by Smith & Wesson. The very first sentence of text says: “Read these instructions and warnings carefully. Failure to read these instructions and to follow these warnings may result in serious injury or death to you and others and damage to property.”

              If you believe for one second that the guys walking around with a gun because they want to use that gun to injure someone else don’t know how dangerous and lethal that happens to be? 

              Where do you live? In Fantasyland?

What Should We Do About Gun Violence? Just Ask Gail Collins.

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              For years, my friends in Gun-control Nation have been kvetching and kvetching about something in Washington known as the Tiahrt rule.  This law, named after its sponsor, a Kansas Congressman, was passed in 2003 and has been a major thorn in the side of everyone who wants to do something – anything – about gun violence ever since.

              After we get done banning assault weapons and making all gun transfers subject to a background check, at least the legal transfers, then we have to get rid of the Tiahrt rule. So says all the gun-control groups. Why do we need to get rid of the Tiahrt rule?  Because this rule, according to Gail Collins, “prohibits the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from sharing information with … almost anybody.”

              The result of the prohibitions and limitations in Tiahrt prevents law enforcement agencies from figuring out how guns get used in crimes and worse, prevents you and me and every other red-blooded American from learning whether the little ol’ gun dealer in town is following the law and selling guns the way they are supposed to be sold.

              And it’s important for you and me to know just exactly how the gun dealer down the street conducts his business because, after all, if someone walks into his shop, and then walks out five minutes later with 10 Glock pistols, this guy is obviously up to no good and the dealer is probably making it easier for this guy to drive up the ‘iron pipeline,’ park his car on some corner in Brownsville or East New York and sell the guns right there in the street.

              None of this nefarious behavior would be going on if the Tiahrt rule didn’t exist and the public could access all the information which is created whenever a gun is sold. This data is contained in the 4473 form which is filled out by someone who wants to buy a gun but first has to undergo a background check. The form lists the buyer’s name, address, age, gender, race, and ethnicity (i.e., Hispanic, or non-Hispanic) which is then transmitted to the FBI which uses the data to make sure the prospective buyer is a good guy, not a bad guy.

              Want the whole story from someone much more qualified to write about guns than Mike the Gun Guy?  You can get it from an op-ed published by Gail Collins whose statement about how the Tiahrt rule prohibits the ATF from sharing this information with ‘almost anybody’ is quoted above.

              What the Tiahrt rule actually says is that the ATF can only share all data with “a Federal, State, local, tribal, or foreign law enforcement agency, or a Federal, State, or local prosecutor, solely in connection with and for use in a criminal investigation or prosecution.” I am quoting from the rule which I took the trouble to look up and read.

              I’m not a celebrated op-ed writer for The New York Times. So, I don’t have the luxury of shooting my mouth off to a readership which will believe anything I say about guns because, after all, I write for The New York Times.

              Colllins’ op-ed is fluff obviously put together at the request of Bob Menendez (D-NJ) or one of the co-sponsors of a Senate bill that would eliminate the Tiahrt rule from the Federal law code once and for all. The co-sponsors are the usual gaggle of anti-gun Senators from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, which is where most gun-control legislation starts out and then dies. I hope this bill dies too.

              The ATF exists to aid law enforcement in dealing with crime. And since the Tiahrt rule specifically requires ATF to share its information with any and all law-enforcement agencies, duhhh, isn’t this what they’re supposed to do?

              I don’t want the Brady Campaign to know that I walked into a gun shop and bought a gun. Should pharmacies give the names of customers who purchase medicines containing restricted substances to advocacy groups working to reduce overdose deaths?

Gun Notes: Research on Guns (Guns in America Book 9) – Kindle edition by Weisser, Michael. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

What Does The ATF Really Do?

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              Want to read an article about gun violence which contains so many misstatements that it qualifies as ‘fake news?’ Try the article published in The New York Times about Joe’s decision to appoint David Chipman to run the ATF.

              I have nothing against Chipman. He and I have talked several times, and he’s a decent, stand-up guy. He retired from ATF and now does a gig with Gabby’s gun-control group.  He’s hardly the ‘fiery’ former agent that the NYT claims him to be.

              The inaccuracies in the NYT article run much deeper than whether they have created a false impression about David Chipman. The bottom line is that this article simply doesn’t show the slightest understanding of what the ATF has done or hasn’t done about gun violence over the last nearly fifty years.

              The ATF was assigned its current regulatory role over guns in the government’s most sweeping gun law to date – the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA68). The agency enforces the regulation of gun commerce, i.e., the interstate movement of guns. This happens to be the proper role of all federal regulatory agencies, whether the agency regulates the interstate movement of guns, cigarettes, money, potato chips, or anything else.

              Meanwhile, even though just about every gun which is used in an act of gun violence crossed a state line at some point in time, the control of gun violence, at the point where gun violence actually occurs, is left up to the individual states. That’s what federalism is all about, right?

              The GCA68 preamble says the law is intended to help law-enforcement agencies do a better job of dealing with crime. So, the ATF, from its very beginnings in the gun thing, operates in a kind of no-man’s land. The agency’s only statutory authority is to make sure that the behavior of the individuals who engage in gun commerce – manufacturers, wholesalers, dealers – follow the rules which define how guns move legally from one state to another state. When it comes to guns being used to commit gun violence, such events have little to do with the activities of the ATF at all.

              My gun shop was inspected by the ATF in 2014. Three agents from the regulatory division showed up and examined the paperwork covering more than several thousand transactions which had occurred in my shop over the previous years. At the end of this exercise, which went on for several months and involved at least a dozen separate visits to my shop, I couldn’t produce the requisite paperwork on the sale of – ready? – three guns.

              To complete the inspection, I had to call the ‘stolen-missing gun’ lady at the ATF’s Atlanta office, give her the serial number of those three guns, which she then put on some master list which presumably is used to figure out something about missing or stolen guns.

              One of the three ‘missing’ guns was the frame of an old Mossberg shotgun which couldn’t be fired because it didn’t have a barrel, or a trigger, or a stock. But the frame had a serial number which made it a gun. Another of the ‘missing’ guns was a 22-caliber, Iver Johnson revolver, which was manufactured sometime before World War II.

According to GCA68, my failure to produce the requisite paperwork on these two ‘weapons’ constituted a ‘threat’ to public safety. Such threats are felonies, punishable by up to five years in jail.

The NYT article follows  closely from a long, detailed report on the ATF published by the Center for American Progress (CAP) in 2015. That report was based on interviews with more than 90 staff from the FBI and ATF.  The NYT story was based on interviews with 50 ATF staffers and others. Neither the CAP report, nor the NYT article referenced an interview with a single individual – dealer, wholesaler, manufacturer – whose business activities are regulated by the ATF.

How do you determine the effectiveness of a regulatory agency without talking to at least one person whose entire business activity is controlled by what the regulatory agency does or doesn’t do?

You don’t.

Buy on Amazon: Gun Notes: Research on Guns (Guns in America): Weisser, Michael R.: 9780578453149: Amazon.com: Books

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