Combs Spouts Off

"It's my opinion and it's very true."

Posts Tagged ‘guns’

Best BBQ smoker ever

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2014

Awesome, just awesome. I wonder if they throw a pinch of cordite on the coals to add that authentic aroma.

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Pueblo school takes kids shooting, making them and society safer

Posted by Richard on March 22, 2014

In a rational world, this story by Katie Pavlich wouldn’t be particularly newsworthy. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it is:

School officials in Pueblo County, Colorado are bucking the anti-gun trend and recently approved a field trip for middle school students to a local shooting range where they learned about gun safety and how to properly handle a firearm. The gun safety and marksman group Project Appleseed, an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, was brought in to instruct students, all of whom fired at the range with live ammunition. The trip was scheduled shortly after students learned about The Revolutionary War in their classrooms.

“We’ve never been allowed to bring actual real firearms into a school. Until this week. This is a very big deal. We had them touching fire arms, holding them and learning about how to handle them safely,” Appleseed Instructor Elizabeth Blackwood told KRDO.

Here is the money quote from student Jonah Statezny, who went on the trip: “I think everyone should learn how to use a gun but learn how to use it properly, and the precautions you’re supposed to take and how serious a gun really is.”

Jonah is pretty wise for a middle school student.

I certainly hope this sort of field trip will become more common in the future, because it will make both our youth and our society in general safer. A study published in 1995 by the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (PDF) tracked 4000 kids in urban Denver, Pittsburgh, and Rochester, NY, over seven years. Vin Suprynowicz summarized the key findings related to whether and how the kids were introduced to firearms:

— Children who get guns from their parents don’t commit gun crimes (0 percent) while children who get guns illegally are quite likely to do so (21 percent).

— Children who get guns from parents are less likely to commit any kind of street crime (14 percent) than children who have no gun in the house (24 percent) — and are dramatically less likely to do so than children who acquire an illegal gun (74 percent.)

— Children who get guns from parents are less likely to use banned drugs (13 percent) than children who get illegal guns (41 percent.)

— Most strikingly, the study found: “Boys who own legal firearms have much lower rates of delinquency and drug use (than boys who own illegal guns) and are even slightly less delinquent than non-owners of guns.”

This wouldn’t have surprised anyone before the rise of the modern welfare state. It used to be common knowledge that the best way to get kids to act “responsibly” was precisely to give them some “responsibility.” Why would we assume a child taught by his parents to use a gun responsibly wouldn’t also be more responsible in his other behaviors?

“Want to dramatically reduce the chance that your child will commit a gun-related crime or — heaven forbid — go on a shooting spree?” asked the national Libertarian Party in a May 21 news release detailing these study results. “Buy your youngster a gun.”

“Politicians are apparently more interested in demonizing guns than they are in facts,” commented LP national director Steve Dasbach, himself an Indiana government schoolteacher. But “The evidence is in: The simplest way to reduce firearm-related violence among children is to buy them a gun and teach them how to use it responsibly.”

As Katie Pavlich said, “This is the definition of a well rounded, quality education. Bravo Pueblo County.”

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Denver Police problem: “accidental shootings”

Posted by Richard on March 21, 2014

Gun safety isn’t really difficult. There are only four simple rules, first articulated by Col. Jeff Cooper, that must be followed. But you must adhere to these rules absolutely, consistently, 100% of the time. Rule #3 is:

KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNTIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET

Here is a picture illustrating adherence to rule #3:

finger-off-trigger

The trigger finger is outside the trigger guard, extended alongside the frame of the pistol. As Col. Cooper explained:

… Since the hand normally prefers to work as a unit – as in grasping – separating the function of the trigger-finger from the rest of the hand takes effort. The five-finger grasp is a deeply programmed reflex. Under sufficient stress, and with the finger already placed on the trigger, an unexpected movement, misstep or surprise could result in a negligent discharge. Speed cannot be gained from such a premature placement of the trigger-finger. Bringing the sights to bear on the target, whether from the holster or the Guard Position, takes more time than that required for moving the trigger finger an inch or so to the trigger.

It appears that at least some Denver police officers aren’t adhering to rule #3. But most of the blame is being put on their weapon-mounted flashlights:

Denver’s police chief said Thursday he has ordered extra training and a review of department policies after the second accidental shooting by an officer this month and the fifth in a little over a year.

Police are still investigating the latest shooting Sunday night, but at least two of the accidental shootings have been blamed on gun-mounted tactical flashlights. Such lights have also been cited in other accidental police shootings across the country, including one that killed a man in Texas.

Two of last year’s unintentional shootings were connected to officers’ use of the flashlights, according to the city’s independent police monitor’s annual report. White responded by banning a specific design of flashlight with an on/off switch located on the gun’s grip just below the trigger guard. He cited three specific brands, but said his ban was not limited to those products.

Nonsense. Look at the picture above again. The flashlight switch is located on the front strap of the pistol grip, under the middle finger. The middle finger presses the switch to turn the flashlight on or off. If your trigger finger (forefinger) is properly located outside the trigger guard and extended alongside the frame, there is no way that you will “accidentally” press the trigger when attempting to turn on the flashlight.

When it comes to gun handling, as Col. Cooper said, “there are no accidents, only negligent acts.” There are far too many cops in this country who’ve received inadequate training and seem to have adopted the gun-handling practices they see on TV crime dramas made by people who know little or nothing about guns.

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CDC releases surprising gun violence study

Posted by Richard on June 27, 2013

In January after the Newtown shootings, the President ordered the Centers for Disease Control to “research the causes and prevention of gun violence” because, you know, gun violence is a contagious disease. A pre-publication draft of the study is now available here, and it’s surprising. Let me clarify that. The findings aren’t surprising. But I’m surprised that the study seems to be pretty objective and impartial rather than the biased anti-gun screed I expected.

Jennifer Cruz has written a nice article summarizing its findings. Here are a few key ‘graphs (but RTWT):

According to the study, “Unintentional firearm-related deaths have steadily declined during the past century.” Accidental deaths resulting from firearms accounted for less than one percent of all unintentional fatalities in 2010.

… “Firearm-related suicides — though receiving far less public attention — significantly outnumber homicides for all age groups, with suicides accounting for approximately 60 percent of all firearm injury fatalities in the United States in 2009. In 2010, suicide was the 10th leading cause of death among individuals in the United States over the age of 10.”

It’s worth pointing out here that according to World Health Organization data, the US ranks 34th (out of 109 countries) in suicide rate. Many nations where gun ownership is banned and/or very rare have a higher suicide rate. So, no — guns don’t cause suicides or increase the suicide rate.

“Defensive uses of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence, although the exact number remains disputed. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”

It was also discovered that when guns are used in self-defense the victims consistently have lower injury rates than those who are unarmed, even compared with those who used other forms of self-defense.

I’m guessing that the Prez, Bloomberg, Feinstein, et al, aren’t too happy with this study, and I suspect that you’ll see damned little reporting of its findings in the mainstream media. As of right now, a search of Google News for “cdc gun violence study” (sans quotes) suggests that my suspicion is correct.

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AR-15 prices falling fast

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2013

Nick Leghorn reports that the law of supply and demand is still operative in the firearms market:

After the gun control scare earlier this year, demand for AR-15 rifles went through the roof. People were maxing out their credit cards on fears that America’s favorite firearm was about to be banned by the powers that be. This cleared the entire available stock of guns, and made manufacturers ramp up to meet demand.

It was good times for manufacturers, but now the AR-15 bubble has burst and things are looking downright depressing for manufacturers.

By now, everyone who “needed” an AR-15 has found one. Even if they emptied their bank accounts to do it, they have their rifle. But with sales slowing down, the price of an AR-15 is cratering. …

The good news is that cheap AR-15s are about to flood the market. If you’ve been waiting for the “right” time to buy a good entry level gun, this is it. …

The bad news is that ammunition is still scarce. It’s on the shelves, but stores haven’t lifted their “one box per person” limit yet. So while you can buy a gun, you still can’t feed it. And God help you if you need some .22lr.

Woohoo! Cheap ARs for everyone! I guess I should go to next weekend’s Tanner gun show. And bring my checkbook. 🙂

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Alinskying Obama

Posted by Richard on February 4, 2013

By now, you’ve probably seen the picture released by the White House of the President allegedly skeet shooting. Did you know that the White House has strict rules limiting how such official photos can be used and prohibits altering them in any way? Of course, this edict has failed to deter countless wielders of PhotoShop. Resistor in the Rockies, citing Rule #5 from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (“Ridicule is Man’s Most Potent Weapon”), has collected a ton of them. Prepare to ROTFL.

Carl Bussjaeger has some, too, along with a good analysis of the original White House photo. His conclusion, which I find persuasive, is that it’s a fake. Obama may have posed with the shotgun on his shoulder, but the smoke plumes were PhotoShopped in afterwards to make it look like he was firing. Steve Sheldon, a “lifelong shotgunner,” came to the same conclusion. The administration is just trying to persuade the bitter clingers and other rubes that Obama isn’t really anti-gun, despite a political lifetime of statements and actions to the contrary.

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For the benefit of the hoplophobes

Posted by Richard on February 2, 2013

As a public service for the restaurateurs, shop owners, theater managers, and other business people who want to ban firearms from their premises, here is a sign that can be downloaded, printed, and posted at the entrance to your business:

"No Weapons Allowed" sign

Rest assured, it will keep people like me out.

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Fighting chance?

Posted by Richard on December 19, 2012

In the wake of the Newtown school massacre, Rep. Diana DeGette (SD-CO1) is again pushing a bill to ban magazines (they’re not “clips”) that hold more than 10 rounds. Her argument for this legislation is interesting:

DeGette says banning high-capacity clips would go a long way toward limiting the number of shots that can be fired by a gunman in the event of future mass shootings.

“We can probably never stop a disturbed individual completely from taking a gun and going into a school or a shopping mall or a store parking lot and trying to shoot people, but we can give those victims a fighting chance,” she said. …

A “fighting chance”?? DeGette’s idea of a “fighting chance” is a chance to be the 11th or 12th person targeted by some homicidal maniac — the person who might be able to escape (or maybe risk trying to tackle the shooter?) during the two seconds it takes the shooter with a 10-round magazine to drop the empty mag and slam home a fresh one.

My idea of a “fighting chance” is a chance to actually fight back. To shoot back. How about legislation to ban so-called gun-free zones? Schools, colleges, shopping malls, and theaters where guns are banned are also known as “target-rich environments” because all the good guys are disarmed and helpless. And that’s the real problem — in these places, there are no guns in the hands of the decent, peaceful, and law-abiding.

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They have to change

Posted by Richard on December 17, 2012

Sunday evening, President Obama said in reaction to the NewTown, Connecticut, massacre that “we have to change.” He was right.

Obama and those who think like him have to change.

They have to abandon their irrational belief that laws are magic.

They have to realize that making someplace a “gun-free zone” doesn’t make the people there safer — it makes them less safe, because it only affects the peaceful, law-abiding, and harmless.

They have to admit that banning some weapon or weapons won’t deter madmen, terrorists, or other predators because it only affects the peaceful, law-abiding, and harmless.

Three decades ago, after a series of PLO terrorist attacks on schools, the Israelis realized that the only way to stop such attacks was to arm the adults at those schools. Are we too stupid to learn the lesson learned by those Israelis — that you stop someone from shooting your children by shooting back?

The problem at Sandy Hook Elementary school wasn’t too many guns — it was too few. The only guns in the school were in the hands of the deranged predator, Adam Lanza.

School principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach rushed Lanza in an attempt to stop him, but they were unarmed and defenseless. Lanza shot them down. Teacher Victoria Soto stood between Lanza and the door behind which her students were hiding. She too was gunned down.

What if Hochsprung, Sherlach, or Soto had had a .38 revolver and had been trained to use it? Could one of them have put two slugs center-mass into Lanza before he shot anyone else? We’ll never know.

But we do know this: the only way Lanza could have been stopped is if someone in that school had shot him.

Obama and those who think like him have to change.

They have to recognize that laws won’t keep weapons out of the hands of the bad guys. And they have to recognize that weapons in the hands of the good guys, and the will to use them, will save lives.

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Gun control advocate throws in towel in face of advancing technology

Posted by Richard on August 1, 2012

Forbes contributor Mark Gibbs would prefer more gun control laws, but he’s a realist regarding technological progress, and that progress makes his dream an increasingly impossible fantasy:

I’m in favor of tighter gun control and a ban on weapons that are unnecessarily powerful but I’m afraid that technology will soon make any legislation that limits the availability of any kinds of guns ineffective.

The technology that’s shattering Gibbs’ dream is 3-D printing, which like everything computer-related is getting cheaper and more powerful all the time. Although most entry-level 3-D printers can only produce objects in plastics, higher-end printers can work with ceramics and metals.

And that means you can print a gun. And someone has.

Not an entire gun, mind you, but the lower receiver of an AR-15.

The receiver is, in effect, the framework of a gun and holds the barrel and all of the other parts in place. It’s also the part of the gun that is technically, according to US law, the actual gun and carries the serial number.

When the weapon was assembled with the printed receiver HaveBlue reported he fired 200 rounds and it operated perfectly.

I believe you can buy all the parts to build an AR-15 except the lower receiver without any background check or paperwork. So if you can make your own lower receiver on your very own 3-D printer, you’re in business.

Gibbs recognized the implications:

What’s particularly worrisome is that the capability to print metal and ceramic parts will appear in low end printers in the next few years making it feasible to print an entire gun and that will be when gun control becomes a totally different problem.

Will there be legislation designed to limit freedom of printing? The old NRA bumper sticker “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” will have to be changed to “If guns are outlawed, outlaws will have 3D printers.”

One of the mantras of the computer/information revolution is “Information wants to be free (as in speech, not as in beer).” We may be on the verge of a new revolution in which the self-defense rights movement, the open source hardware movement, and advances in 3-D printing converge to lead to a new slogan: “Firearms want to be free (as in speech, not as in beer).”

(HT: Glenn Reynolds via David Aitken)

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Ladies Night at the shooting range

Posted by Richard on February 8, 2012

Reporter Amanda Kost had a great story on Denver’s 7NEWS tonight about the explosion in gun ownership among women and the growing number of them who get together at the gun range to enjoy the shooting sports and develop self-defense skills. Very positive, informative, and well-presented. Check it out.

A friend who went to the last Tanner Gun Show commented on how many more women there were than in the past. I haven’t been to a gun show since last fall, but I noticed the same thing then. IMHO, this is a very, very good thing.

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Fact-checking the Denver Post

Posted by Richard on January 1, 2012

A December 28 Denver Post story contained bogus statistics about children and guns. Ari Armstrong called the lead reporter on it. He responded with bluff and bluster, revealing himself to be a total jerk. Ari turned to the Post’s news director. The Post issued a correction, and then a corrected correction.

Interestingly, while they posted an “editor’s note” with the corrected statistics at the bottom of the online story, in the story itself they “corrected” the falsehoods by simply removing the paragraph that contained them.

It’s an amusing and enlightening read, especially the email exchange between Ari and reporter Joey Bunch. Check it out.

HT: Walter in Denver, who has resumed posting after an even longer dry spell than mine. Glad to see you back, Walter! 🙂

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Mobile mayor’s hypocrisy

Posted by Richard on January 1, 2012

Mayor Sam Jones of Mobile, Alabama, is a member of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization that advocates much stricter gun control laws and opposes letting private citizens carry guns. On Dec. 20th, Jones returned home to find a burglar in his garage. He held the man at gunpoint until police arrived.

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) pointed out the hypocrisy — and possible illegality — of the mayor’s actions:

… According to published reports, Jones was returning home from an errand, driving his private vehicle. “His bodyguard, who drives the mayor’s city vehicle, was not on duty,” the Press-Register newspaper reported. And now there are questions about whether the mayor has an Alabama carry permit.

“Here is a municipal mayor who has a bodyguard, and believes it is okay for him to carry a gun, but he belongs to an organization that consistently works to keep everyone else from carrying,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “If the mayor is legally licensed, why does he belong to a group that has fought to prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their self-defense right?

“If Mayor Jones doesn’t have a permit,” he continued, “then he is a poster child for the double standards that elites like Mayor Michael Bloomberg believe separates them from the citizens they serve. Either way, Mayor Jones owes it to his constituents to show them his carry permit, and to oppose any further attempts by Mayors Against Illegal Guns to prevent private citizens from exercising their constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms.

“It is no surprise that average American citizens are fed up with government officials at all levels,” Gottlieb observed. “We’re glad that Mayor Jones had the means and the willingness to protect his property, but we are stunned and disappointed that he belongs to an organization whose very essence is to make it virtually impossible for average citizens to do likewise.”

What he said.

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Indian gun rights group joins international coalition

Posted by Richard on October 11, 2011

The National Association for Gun Rights India (NAGRI) has joined the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), a coalition of 16 groups from 8 countries dedicated to protecting the natural human right of armed self-defense.

IAPCAR was founded by Julianne Versnel, director of operations for the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Alan Gottlieb, Chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). Via SAF email:

“It is heartening to see groups like NAGRI who are passionate and active for civilian arms rights joining our coalition,” said IAPCAR executive director, Philip Watson.

 “In the wake of the tragic Mumbai massacre, Indians are rethinking their country’s repressive gun restrictions and see the need to empower citizens. Self-defense is a civil right; the denial of this right should not be tolerated,” Watson observed.

 “NAGRI is delighted to be associated with IAPCAR. All pro-gun associations and civil rights organizations should join hands,” said Rakshit Sharma, a representative of NAGRI.

I'm guessing that the people who founded NAGRI in 2010 are familiar with my favorite Mohandas Gandhi quote

Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.

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Concealed carry comes to Wisconsin

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2011

And then there was one:

Wisconsin stands on the verge of becoming the 49th state in the country to allow citizens to carry concealed guns, after the state Assembly made a bipartisan vote to legalize that practice Tuesday.

The measure passed 68-27, with 11 Democrats voting in favor of the bill along with the body's lone independent and all Republicans except Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Hartford), who had wanted stronger legislation. Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) said his vote was mistakenly not counted and he would seek to correct that.

The approval of the bill marks one more piece of long-blocked legislation that Republicans have been able to pass now that they control all of state government. The bill to allow the concealed carry of guns and other weapons such as Tasers passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote last week, so approval in the Assembly sends the bill to Gov. Scott Walker, who supports the measure.

Once the measure is signed by Gov. Walker, Illinois will be the only remaining state in the nation that completely bans concealed carry. Nine states issue concealed carry permits, but give the issuing law enforcement agent (usually sheriff or police chief) some discretion on who to approve. The other 40 are "shall issue" states — anyone who meets the statutory requirements (generally some training and no felony conviction or adjudicated mental health problem) must be issued a permit — or "no stinkin' permit required" states (Vermont and Alaska). 

And as a result, our streets are running red with blood as crazed gun nuts shoot it out over parking spaces, cutting in line at the express lane, etc. Oh, wait … they're not. Violent crime continues to decrease as gun sales and carry permits increase.

In fact, it seems almost like violent crime rates are inversely related to rates of gun ownership and carry. Just what you'd expect if (1) the vast majority of people are peaceful and non-violent; (2) violent crimes are almost exclusively committed by a very small percentage of the population who have no moral compass or impulse control and aren't deterred by laws alone; and (3) that small violent minority can be deterred to some extent (and if necessary, stopped) by members of the peaceful majority who are prepared to defend themselves and others.

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