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This Again?

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. — Thomas Jefferson

 

Thanks to Tam, we find out that the Obama administration and their minions in Congress are trying to get a bill passed, which mirrors the the efforts the State Department made last year to make publishing information about weapons a violation of ITAR.  This would make the publication of things like reviews, specifications, and manufacturing / maintenance data a crime.

If they can’t find one way, they’ll find another, it appears.  Yeah, the quote above has become a cliche, but it rings true today.  If they can’t get their way through Congress, they’ll do it via executive orders.  If they can’t get it that way, they’ll do it through regulations.  If that is thwarted, they’ll go back to Congress.

Around and around she goes; where she stops, nobody knows.

Please, reach out to your Senator as soon as you can.  Tell them what you want them to do about this bill, and what you expect of them when it comes to your rights.

Please, join and support a group that fights for your rights, and get involved.

They’re not going to quit.  Neither should we.

 

Weak Tea

Yesterday, after meeting with the Attorney General to confirm his biases and uninformed opinions, President Obama finalized plans for a series of executive initiatives which he hopes will make people think he’s still relevant when it comes to the subject of gun control.

I won’t enumerate or discuss them here, because better writers and thinkers than me have already done so.

What I do want to point out is just how ineffectual this president is, and to be honest, always has been, no matter the subject.

Obama came into office with a majority in the House of Representatives and a super-majority in the Senate.  He and his party wielded that powerful tool until after the 2010 mid-term elections.  They accomplished exactly one significant thing with it – Obamacare.  That one, singular sensation was so odious that it had to be packed with carve-outs, bribes, and favors to get even the Democrats to vote for it.  It is such a bad law that the President has had to delay its full implementation on multiple occasions, and it is currently in danger of imploding under its own weight.

Other than that, President Obama has accomplished, well, not much.

We have the Iran nuclear deal, which is off to a resoundingly bad start as Iran tests missiles, sometimes less than two kilometers from our ships.  But, hey, the Iranians turned over the nuclear material we knew about to the Russians, who we all know can be trusted.

Speaking of Russia, how’s the President’s policy toward them working out?  Well, if we’re being brutally honest, it’s not.  A big chunk of Czechoslovakia Ukraine lies under Putin’s heel, and our NATO allies are more likely to work with Russia in Syria than they are to work with us.

Speaking of Syria, the President has made so many red lines, then scribbled them out, that the country must look like it lost a Sharpie fight with Jackie Chan.  At the moment, the best that we can hope for is that the stable dictator is able to hold onto power so that the unstable horde doesn’t get its hands on the entire country.  In the meantime, the most the President can do is have our pilots wave from 35,000 feet as they pass overhead while our Kurdish allies fight to hold what they’ve got.

Back on the domestic front, the President has focused his attention on gun control, but seems to be prescient enough to realize that he’s powerless to influence the direction of the country in that particular situation.  That is, of course, unless you realize that every time he opens his noise hole, every company, craftsman, and merchant involved in the legal gun trade gets trampled by their customers buying every gun and bullet they can.  Seriously, I know more people who went from neutrality on guns to “DB, what’s the best AR-15 under $1000, and where’s the best place to buy cheap ammo?” than I ever thought possible.

While we’re on that subject, I’d like to thank the President for swelling the ranks of the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment Foundation, and the myriad other gun rights organizations across the country.  We couldn’t have done it without you, big guy.  It is my sincere hope that after you leave office, somebody thinks to send you a ball cap or something for your efforts.  Now that I think about it, the NRA ought to start a new prize, named for the President, which recognizes the person who does the most to grow the NRA and get people into the gun stores and shooting ranges.

So, here we are, with the lamest duck I’ve ever seen.  His super-majority in Congress is a distant memory, and the best he can do now is t say “While I’m President, try to do what the law has told you to do since before I rolled my first joint.”  But, remember folks, he’s the most powerful man in in the world, and quite possibly the smartest.  Just ask him and his dwindling crowds of adoring fans.

I’ve always wondered what it would look like if this country didn’t have leadership or even management at the top.  Looks like I’m about to find out.

Your Daily Snark

On Gun Control

We have a problem in our country.

I see it as too many people having too little control over themselves and even less regard for the value of human life.  I see it as multiple generations of our people raised without adequate parenting, whether or not they have both parents in their life.  I see it as those who need mental health support, including being kept away from others for everyone’s safety, not getting it.

I see it as a people problem, which means it is truly a problem from hell.

Others see it another way.  They see it as a problem with access to weapons, principally firearms.  I can’t know what’s in their hearts and in their heads, but I can know what comes from their mouths and what they do.

Their beliefs seem to be that if only we could prevent the ‘wrong’ people, for escalating values of ‘wrong’, from getting firearms, things would be better.

Their beliefs seem to be that if we could only dispose of the ‘wrong’ firearms, for escalating values of ‘wrong’, then things would be better.

Those opposed to private firearms ownership say that they don’t want to take our guns away, but then list off entire classes of firearms they want taken away.  Some are at least honest and say that they would make  all firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens disappear if they could.

They want to be ‘reasonable,’ which means that they want us to stop arguing, resisting, and fighting.

They want to exercise what they consider ‘common sense’, all while being unable to explain how their ‘common sense’ reforms would in any way fix the underlying problem:  people who believe it is appropriate to use violence for something other than self defense.

They say they want to ‘compromise,’ where compromise means they gain everything they want, while we are grateful we don’t lose everything.

I haven’t said much about gun rights in a long time.  To be honest, after the 2013 anti-rights push, I felt I was beginning to sound like a broken record.  I still supported gun causes, but I stopped using this soap box and others to get the message out.

That ends tonight.

Every human life lost to a gun, no matter the justification, is a tragedy for the people who loved that life.  The difference is in who, or what, gets blamed for that tragedy.

Some blame the gun, lumps of metal and plastic, for the tragedy.

Some blame the shooter, with no regard as to whether or not the shooting was justified.

Some blame all gun owners, especially those of us who work to halt and turn back the erosion of our right to self-defense with the best implement God has yet given us.

These groups believe that, had there not been a gun, there would not have been a tragedy, and that anything they can do to make the hundreds of millions of legally owned firearms in this country disappear is justified.

I blame the person who broke the law when someone is shot.  I blame the two pieces of filth in California, the whack job in Colorado Springs, or the criminal who kills someone in the street, for their actions.  I do not blame the implement, I blame the criminal.  Terrorists are criminals, murderers are criminals.  They deserve to be punished for their crime, and they deserve to have their liberty taken away.

I do not blame the sober driver for the drunk.  I do not blame the honest priest for the pederast.  I do not blame the honest businessman for the sweatshop owner.

I will not accept blame and punishment, for what is punishment if not the infringement of my rights, for the actions of others.

I am not a criminal.  I will not stand by while my liberty is curtailed.  I will not take one step backward, and I will not let someone push me back.

An election is coming up next year, and not just for the office of the President.  Governors, Senators, all of the Representatives, and a myriad of local and state offices are going to be on the ballot.  Please get informed, get involved, and get to the polls.

For me, guns are a litmus test.  A politician, from dog catcher to the President, who does not support my right to keep and bear arms will not get my vote.  A public figure who uses their bully pulpit to rail against me and those like me will not get my money or my time.

If you support gun control in any form, I will not vote for you.  I will advertise your stance as much as I can, both on-line and with the people I speak to every day.  I will do my best to keep you from office, and I will wholeheartedly support candidates and organizations that oppose you.

And if you’re coming to me for a ‘reasonable compromise’ when it comes to gun control, here are my terms for compromise:

I will continue to be a responsible, passionate, law-abiding citizen and gun owner, and you can go pound sand up your ass.

If you mean to have a fight over guns, bring it.

Who Taught You to Hit?

One of the questions I hear quite a bit when gunnies get together is “Who taught you to shoot?”  For a lot of us, it’s a parent or grandparent, or maybe that favorite uncle or aunt, who took us out back and showed us which end the bullets come out and how to hold it.

Everyone remembers who first taught them to shoot.

A very wise, and rather crotchety, old gentleman once told me that anyone can shoot, but it takes skill to hit.

So, who taught you to hit?

For me, the first person to teach me to do more than send copper jacketed lead in the general direction of an empty beer can was a volunteer instructor and RSO at Boy Scout camp in North Dakota.  For his sins, he spent a few weeks of his summer teaching 10 and 11 year old boys about safety, trigger control, sight picture, and breathing.  In the week I spent at camp, I got a lot better.  I wasn’t good, but at least I was only dangerous to the target.

He reminded us daily that our rifles, ammunition, and targets were all donated by businesses and people who thought it was important for young people to know how to handle a rifle.   At the end of the week, he had us write to our benefactors, thanking them for their generosity and telling them about how much we’d learned and how much fun shooting was.

So, who taught you to hit?  How to sight properly, control your breathing, and squeeze the trigger?  How to be safe, both on the range and in the home and field with a firearm?

Was it your parent or grandparent?  A coach on a rifle team?  A Scout or 4-H leader?

As you all know, I’m involved with my local committee of the Friends of the NRA.  We take in money through fundraisers such as raffles, games, and banquets, which is then directed back to youth safety and shooting programs, both here in Kentucky and nationwide.  Basically, we try to provide the things that the men and women who are teaching the next generation to be safe, responsible gun owners need to get the job done.

Our local banquet is going to happen on August 1, and if you’re close by and would like to come, we’d love to have you.  If you’re not local, I’ll bet that there is a committee close by to you that would either love to sell you a ticket to a raffle or to a banquet, or even better, have you as a volunteer.

But if you can’t do that, try taking a young person out and teaching them gun safety, responsibility, and oh yeah, how to hit.

Gunny TASS has been authorized to report…..

Let’s imagine for a moment that I was the first kid on the block to score one of the new CorreiaTech Combat Wombats in 7.62 SchutzenBoomen, and I wanted to let you all know about this wonder of engineering and how it performed.  Of course, I would run to the local merchant of death, purchase several boxes of ammunition, then haul all that and my chronometer out to the range, and spend a day making smoke into noise while taking measurements.  I would then come home, disassemble this gun, this pinnacle of modern metallurgical and polymeric science, take oodles of pictures, and document what I observe and learn.

Then, being the good little gunblogger that I am, I would post all these pictures, data, and observations so that other gun enthusiasts can make informed decisions on what they purchase and shoot.  Heck, I may provide that one key piece of data that convinces somebody, either in the United States or abroad, to make their first gun purchase a CorreiaTech, not some piece of dreck from RingoCo (Corporate motto:  Oh, RingoCo, no!)

To me, it’s a hobby and an interesting diversion. To someone else, it might be how they make their living or reach out to customers.

To the Obama Administration, it’s about to become a crime.

You see, through the magic of federal regulation and executive orders, the United States Department of State has proposed changes to the International Trade in Arms Regulations (ITAR) so that the posting of information and data about small arms in such a way that people in other parts of the world can read it becomes illegal, because we are exporting data about weapons without proper licensure.

Read for yourself:

As part of the President’s Export Control Reform (ECR) initiative, the Department of State proposes to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to update the definitions of ‘‘defense article,’’ ‘‘defense services,’’ ‘‘technical data,’’ ‘‘public domain,’’ ‘‘export,’’ and ‘‘reexport or retransfer’’ in order to clarify the scope of activities and information that are covered within these definitions and harmonize the definitions with the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), to the extent appropriate. Additionally, the Department proposes to create definitions of ‘‘required,’’ ‘‘technical data that arises during, or results from, fundamental research,’’ ‘‘release,’’ ‘‘retransfer,’’ and ‘‘activities that are not exports, reexports, or retransfers’’ in order to clarify and support the interpretation of the revised definitions that are proposed in this rulemaking. The Department proposes to create new sections detailing the scope of licenses, unauthorized releases of information, and the ‘‘release’’ of secured information, and revises the sections on ‘‘exports’’ of ‘‘technical data’’ to U.S. persons abroad. Finally, the Department proposes to address the electronic transmission and storage of unclassified ‘‘technical data’’ via foreign communications infrastructure. This rulemaking proposes that the electronic transmission of unclassified ‘‘technical data’’ abroad is not an ‘‘export,’’ provided that the data is sufficiently secured to prevent access by foreign persons. Additionally, this proposed rule would allow for the electronic storage of unclassified ‘‘technical data’’ abroad, provided that the data is secured to prevent access by parties unauthorized to access such data. The revisions contained in this proposed rule are part of the Department of State’s retrospective plan under Executive Order 13563 first submitted on August 17, 2011.

It goes on in detail, and I suggest you read it all.  Basically, gun blogs, publications, enthusiasts, forum members, manufacturers, and just plain goofballs like me would need a mother-may-I from the federal government before putting data such as muzzle velocity, materials, terminal ballistics, disassembly, cleaning, fixing, upgrading,  accurizing, assembling from parts kits, or just plain whittling your own gun out of a block of aluminum up on an open website.

If you think this is, well, troubling, then we have a lot in common.   The government has no business telling us what we can and cannot say.  It really has no business telling us to whom we are and are not allowed to convey knowledge.

By the way, if you’re a geek and have been around a while, this will sound very familiar.  You’ll also know how futile it is to try to burn the books and regulate who can have them when everybody’s got the electronic copy.

So, I’m asking all of you to reach out to our friends at Foggy Bottom and tell them, respectfully and professionally, to go pound sand up their ass.  Here is the contact information for leaving a comment on the proposed new regulations, which may be done until August 3, 2015:

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may submit comments within 60 days of the date of publication by one of the following methods: •

Email: DDTCPublicComments@state.gov with the subject line, ‘‘ITAR Amendment—Revisions to Definitions; Data Transmission and Storage.’’

• Internet: At www.regulations.gov, search for this notice by using this rule’s RIN (1400–AD70).

I also suggest you contact your senators and representatives in Congress and let them know that you’d appreciate it if they’d drag the person or persons responsible for this in front of C-SPAN and get them to explain the pressing government

I want you all to imagine what would happen if we couldn’t post reviews of guns without a license from the crown, or manufacturers had to get permission from Barack Obama and John Kerry before they could tell us what their ammunition or guns can do.  Imagine what would happen when it became illegal for forum members to post their favorite formula for reloading without risking fines and possibly jail.

Now imagine what will happen when everyone within the sound of my voice not only leaves a helpful comment at the above addresses, but gets a few of their friends and family to do the same and spread the word.

We are The People, and the Obama administration is threatening our 1st and 2nd Amendment-guaranteed rights.  It is time for us to tell them no, and to make them understand that we will not go away quietly.

In the meantime, you’re going to be seeing some weapons data posted to this site, every day, until they either drop this effort or roll a 20 in the “Summon Lawsuit” spell attempt by trying to make me stop.  Please join me in drowning the gun grabbing bluntskulls at State out and showing how impotent they really are.

A Letter to Kroger

A few weeks ago, I asked those who could to keep their receipts after shopping at Kroger and related businesses, then to send them to the companies customer relations department with a letter thanking them for staying neutral in the gun rights argument.  I’ve seen a few of you post your letters, and here’s mine.
The Kroger Co.
Customer Relations
1014 Vine Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202-1100

Dear Sir and/or Ma’am,

Our family has shopped at Kroger and her related businesses for many years, and I am writing to thank you for welcoming us in your stores.  You see, you have recently been assailed by anti-gun zealots, who are attempting to bully your company into changing your policy when it comes to the lawful carry of weapons by your customers.  You chose to continue to follow local laws in your stores, and we want to thank you for that.

Thank you for staying out of that argument and treating your customers like reasonable adults.  It is a breath of fresh air for a company to have the good sense to not take a side in something like this, and follow the laws in the areas in which you have stores.

During the last month, after anti-rights groups called for a boycott of your stores, I began to keep my families Kroger receipts and tallied up the amount we have spent at our local stores, and it came to $415.07 spent on food and fuel.  I am enclosing those receipts with this letter.  I have asked my friends and family to follow suit, because we want you to know that while some may shun your businesses due to your stance of following the law and not imposing ideology, there are many more of us who will continue to use Kroger because you choose to stay out of this fight and just do business.

Again, thank you for treating us like responsible, peaceful, law-abiding adults, and welcoming our business.

Sincerely,

Daddy J. Bear

Louisville, Kentucky

Definitions

  • Temptation – The feeling you get when you go to a sporting goods store and they have a Mauser 98K, a MAS rifle, and a 1965 Winchester Model 94 in excellent condition.
  • Respect – When you decide that you should consult with your spouse before spending hundreds of dollars on what is, to her, a frivolous item.
  • Elation – When she looks at you and says “Sure.  Go ahead.”
  • Disappointment – When you get back to the store, the Mauser is gone, somebody else has picked up the MAS, and the Model 94, which has beautiful furniture and a case hardened receiver, is not $400 like you thought.  It is $800.
  • Intelligence – When you don’t immediately whip your phone out and move the overage over from savings.
  • Hope – The feeling you have when you notice the store offers layaway.
  • Self-Control – When the nice man at the register says that if you get the store credit card, you can take the rifle home that day, yet you still put the gun on layaway.
  • Stupidity – When you are describing the gun to your wife, and you say “It’s an antique.  Heck, it’s older than you.”
  • Forgiveness – When she doesn’t kill you with her brain right then and there.
  • Patience – Waiting 60 days to get your new gun out of the store’s vault.

Pushing Back

It would appear that the gun-control zealots at Moms Demand Action have decided that a grocery chain wishing to stay neutral in the guns/no guns debate isn’t good enough.  In response to Kroger restating their position of following local laws when it comes to the lawful carry of firearms, both open and concealed, MDA has called for a boycott of Kroger and their associated stores until that policy is changed.

In response to this, I am going to do something, and I ask that you all join me.

For the next month, from April 16, 2015 to May 16, 2015, please do as much shopping as you can at Kroger and her related stores.  Buy groceries, home supplies, gasoline, alcohol, and whatever else you would normally buy for your home and family at Kroger, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyers, or whichever of their stores is local to you.  Keep your receipts.

On May 15, I will be sending all of my receipts, along with a courteous, professional letter, to the Kroger customer relations department, thanking them for staying out of the debate and treating their customers, both pro-carry and anti, like adults.  Please join me in doing this.  Let Kroger see how many lawful, reasonable, gun owning customers they have, and how much money we spend in a month with them.  Let them be able to point to this as a reason why their stance of wanting to sell groceries and not ideology is reasonable and the right thing to do.

For those of you in states that do not have a Kroger presence, please send a letter to Kroger on May 16 saying the same thing, and asking them to expand into your market.

Kroger is doing the right thing by staying out of the argument.  We need to thank them for that and show that there are more of us than there are in the anti-rights groups.  I’ll be posting my letter next month.  I hope you all will join me.

NRAAM 2015 Initial thoughts

  • NRA is estimating that 70,000 people will attend this year.  I’m pretty sure that’s a low estimate.  Friday is normally the slowest day, and the exhibit hall is packed.
  • The Glock 43 feels slightly bigger than Irish Woman’s Kimber Solo, but weights a lot less.  I’d definitely have to shoot one before passing judgement.
  • Looking at the slate of politicians scheduled to speak, and interestingly, I’m not seeing Rand Paul.  If he doesn’t speak this year, I’m hoping he does next year in Louisville.  I’m not exactly a single issue voter, but being nebulous about gun rights is not going to move me to vote for you.
  • Is it a bad thing when a major gun company doesn’t have any guns to display in their booth and have prominent signs explaining that the reason is that the freight company lost them?
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