Roundup

Donald Trump has been sworn in and is now the 45th President of the United States. His inauguration speech was largely a repudiation of the policies of his predecessor, and echoed many of the promises made during his campaign. (And he has given every indication that he intends to fulfill those promises, in addition to correcting past wrongs.)

Meanwhile, a riotous (and blatantly manufactured) “demonstration” in the District of Columbia meant to protest Trump’s ascension to the presidency led to the arrests of 217 people. Despite their evil designs, the actual inauguration was not disrupted by the rioters. Ironically, most of the property damage was done to a Bank of America and a Starbucks– two corporations which together have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

But self-awareness is not a trait strongly associated with the statist-left. Rosie O’Donnel sets a rather prescient example. By unironically demanding martial law, O’Donnel demands the empowerment of the very people who most desire to destroy her and her ilk. Like many on the left, she suffers from the bizarre delusion that the United States military will mindlessly obey its leftist overlords, no matter how swollen its ranks are with right-wing nationalists. EveryJoe’s Tom Kratman recognized this obvious flaw in O’donnel’s logic, and proposed one possible outcome if such an event were to occur.

Unfortunately, Kratman’s analysis suffers from bad assumption common to most right-wing civil war speculation- namely, the belief that because “the conservatives have all the guns and ammo,” that the war will be over faster than an obese Millennial snowflake can shriek “hate speech!” This is as dangerously false an assumption as the statist-left’s faith in the unwavering loyalty of the federal military. While fantasies of eradicating political opponents in re-purposed stadiums and boxcars may be entertaining to some, the scenario presented by David Hines is far more grounded in reality. (Do you not think that they have their own enemies lists?)

We are, at a minimum, two peoples occupying a single country. Such a situation is unsustainable without decentralized government, and makes the failure of centralized national government all the more obvious. If a man despises the laws and government of one state or county, he can simply move to another more suited to his personal tastes and vision of governance. When the policies of one state are imposed on the whole of the nation by way of the federal government, the argument for keeping fifty stars on the flag becomes much less convincing to such a man.

The United States is, and always has been, too large to centrally govern, yet this obvious fact has never deterred a statist from seeking to impose his personal tastes on the whole of the Union through perverse abuse of the limited powers granted to the federal government by the Constitution. The statist abhors the notion that free men might choose to live in a manner that the statist does not approve of. While the presidency of Donald Trump promises to bring a renewed interest in federalism on the left, the statists will hypocritically forget such protestations the instant they believe they have the power to again impose their will on the nation. Ultimately, the more statists in either political party attempt to utilize the machinery of the federal government to impose their will on the nation, the stronger the impulse to separate will become.

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Hearing Protection Act of 2017: Update 3

The Hearing Protection Act of 2017 has made the Top Ten List of most viewed bills on Congress.gov today.

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In fact, interest in the bill has even driven it to the front page:

hpa21jan2In addition to this bit of good news, the number of cosponsors has increased to 69 House members.

The text of the bill has also finally become available. Perhaps the most interesting provision deals with preemption of certain state laws regarding silencers.

Section 927 of title 18, United States Code, amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, a law of a State or a political subdivision of a State that, as a condition of lawfully making, transferring, using, possessing, or transporting a firearm silencer in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, imposes a tax on any such conduct, or a marking, recordkeeping or registration requirement with respect to the firearm silencer, shall have no force or effect.”

What does Section 972 of title 18, United States Code say?

No provision of this chapter shall be construed as indicating an intent on the part of the Congress to occupy the field in which such provision operates to the exclusion of the law of any State on the same subject matter, unless there is a direct and positive conflict between such provision and the law of the State so that the two cannot be reconciled or consistently stand together.

The latter portion of the legislation seems to be aimed at preempting any potential attempt by Democrat-controlled states (which have not already banned silencers outright) from creating a state-level regulatory scheme identical to the federal regulatory scheme that the bill seeks to abolish.

The Hearing Protection Act is definitely getting attention, but thus far appears to have seen no activity whatsoever in committee. Please continue to call or write your federal legislators and urge them to pass the bill.

For background information or previous updates on the Hearing Protection Act of 2017, click here.

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Abolishing The BATFE

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin’s 5th District has introduced a bill that, if passed, would lead to the eventual elimination of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

“Despite our country being trillions of dollars in debt, government spending continues to rise. Common sense budgeting solutions are necessary, and the ATF Elimination Act is one measure we can take to reduce spending, redundancy, and practice responsible governance. The ATF is a scandal-ridden, largely duplicative agency that has been branded by failure and lacks a clear mission. It is plagued by backlogs, funding gaps, hiring challenges, and a lack of leadership. These facts make it a logical place to begin draining the swamp and acting in the best interest of the American taxpayer.”

This is all true. However, the most significant reason to eliminate the BATFE has nothing to do with its redundant nature. Many people seem to forget that the BATFE is more than just a gang of tax men who arrest the innocent for the thought-crime of “constructive intent,” prosecute veterans for malfunctioning firearms, and take the better part of a year to approve tax stamps for suppressors.

The problem with the BATFE is that it is a government entity whose primary reason for existence is to enforce unconstitutional edicts. The fact that the agency is wholly redundant only exacerbates the problem and leads to gross abuses as the BATFE attempts to justify its budget and secure more funding. As with any government bureaucracy, its primary function- irrespective of any stated purpose- is to perpetuate its own existence.

This has led to an organization without a real purpose or focus while its agents resort to Gestapo-like tactics and antics to perpetuate the illusion that their continued existence is necessary for, rather than actively harmful to, domestic peace and tranquility.

The list of scandals associated with the BATFE is long and exhaustive. From its very inception, the BATFE has been known to harass and abuse both legitimate sellers and legitimate buyers of arms. In a 1982 Senate subcommittee report, the upper house of Congress found that,

…approximately 75 percent of BATF gun prosecutions were aimed at ordinary citizens who had neither criminal intent nor knowledge, but were enticed by agents into unknowing technical violations.

And that,

…BATF has primarily devoted its firearms enforcement efforts to the apprehension, upon technical malum prohibitum charges, of individuals who lack all criminal intent and knowledge. Agents anxious to generate an impressive arrest and gun confiscation quota have repeatedly enticed gun collectors into making a small number of sales—often as
few as four—from their personal collections. Although each of the sales was completely legal under state and federal law, the agents
then charged the collector with having “engaged in the business” of dealing in guns without the required license. Since existing law permits a felony conviction upon these charges even where the individual has no criminal knowledge or intent numerous collectors have been ruined by a felony record carrying a potential sentence of five years in federal prison. Even in cases where the collectors secured acquittal, or grand juries failed to indict, or prosecutors refused to file criminal charges, agents of the Bureau have generally confiscated the entire collection of the potential defendant upon the ground that he intended to use it in that violation of the law. In several cases, the agents have refused to return the collection even after acquittal by jury.

So egregious were their violations of law, so willful was their disregard for the Constitution, and so contemptuous were they of American owners and sellers of arms that Congress acted in 1986 specifically to reign in their abuses. Unfortunately, it would seem that not much has changed in the intervening years.

Since 1986, the BATFE has been embroiled in scandal after scandal, only for them to be forgotten and ignored each time, with no meaningful change or action ever being taken. The agency’s grossly unprofessional culture is rife with sexual harassment and has been for decades.

In 1992 the agency sought a high-publicity case to distract the public from the negative attention created by its culture of workplace groping. Their chosen victim was Randy Weaver, and their chosen tactics were luring Weaver into the same kinds of “technical violations” that the 1986 FOPA had been passed to prevent. The result was known as the Siege of Ruby Ridge, and was so badly handled and managed that it became the only time in U.S. history where the killing of a federal agent was deemed to be a justifiable homicide.

The BATFE again attempted to distract from its scandals in 1993 by making a show of force for television cameras outside of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco Texas– ostensibly to look for evidence that David Koresh owed $200 in federal taxes under the 1934 NFA. Four BATF agents were killed in the initial raid, and the 51 day siege that resulted ended when federal agents set fire to the compound with pyrotechnic devices, (after gassing the Davidians continuously with CS gas for days) killing all 76 people inside, including 20 children.

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A Congressional investigation in the aftermath of the raid found that any evidence which could implicate the BATF or other federal agents in wrongdoing (such as the Davidian claim that the BATF agents opened fire first) was conspicuously missing or had been systematically destroyed.

The siege and eventual murder of the Branch Davidians is probably the BATFE’s most egregious sin, but it is only one of many. Most famously, the BATFE has engaged in illegal arms trafficking in order to create the perception that illegal arms trafficking was a problem- and that the BATFE needed funding to fight it. The operation was so badly bungled that the BATFE lost track of the guns it was selling to drug cartels, and those same guns were later used to murder at least one American border patrol agent, along with countless Mexicans.

On a smaller scale, the countless examples of the BATFE’s pettiness, incompetence, and vindictiveness are so numerous as to be astounding. At no point during any of these scandals have any of the responsible parties been held accountable in any meaningful way. Quite the opposite: whistleblowers are almost always fired or otherwise punished for coming forward. Rather than focus on addressing the corruption, incompetence, and criminality of the agency, the BATFE instead thinks that your money is better spent on things like developing a new logo.

Write your representatives in Congress. Urge them to support the ATF Elimination Act. There is no legitimate function performed by the BATFE that could not be better performed by another agency or eliminated entirely. There is no reason the American people should be forced to spend over $1,000,000,000 every year to support a gang of jackbooted thugs who actively work against the interests and freedoms of the people they are supposed to protect.

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The Writing on the Briefing Room Wall

The incoming Trump Administration has proposed moving reporters out of the White House Briefing Room and into a larger area which can accommodate more people. The purpose for this is to allow the inclusion of talk radio hosts and bloggers, in addition to the “traditional” press corps.

“There’s a lot of talk radio and bloggers and people that can’t fit in right now and maybe don’t have a permanency because they’re not part of the Washington elite media,” Spicer said, “but to allow them an opportunity to ask the press secretary or the president a question is a positive thing. It’s more democratic.”

Naturally, the dinosaur media hates this and views it as a threat to its continued privilege, prestige, and access.

The White House press corps was stunned on Sunday by reports of a proposal by the Trump administration to eject reporters from their home in the West Wing — a move that, if carried out, would uproot decades of established protocol whereby journalists are allowed to work in the White House close to senior officials.

Yet, for all of its posturing and wailing about how this is supposedly an insult to the traditional media, the real reason seems rather apparent. The Authorized Journalists at the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post are used to being part of a small elite. The idea that the may now have to share their space with right-wing talk radio and internet bloggers (who perform their roles better than any trained “journalists” in modern memory) is the perceived insult.

But for jittery Washington reporters, it was yet another salvo from an administration that has shown an unusual willingness to berate and belittle the news media, at the behest of a president-elect who has floated the idea of rolling back libel protections and, in a volcanic appearance last week, refused to take questions from CNN after it ran a story he did not like.

This was far more than merely a story that Donald Trump “did not like.” This was after CNN ran with an obviously fake smear-job which other news outlets (including the New York Times) had rejected because of how blatantly false it was. Peddling an unsubstantiated rumor that the President-Elect had hired prostitutes for the purpose of watching them urinate, and then presenting that unsubstantiated rumor as fact seems pretty libelous.

Perhaps the potential loss of the White House Briefing Room reminds the old media of its fast-approaching demise, and they are doing anything they can to delay or prevent it. Without credibility or commercial viability though, the days of the dinosaur media are numbered.

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Hearing Protection Hysteria, Part 2

The statists who run the media are not going to allow the Hearing Protection Act pass unopposed, especially as more and more Congressmen sign on to support the bill. The shills at NBC are no exception. In a propaganda piece with the heading “Gun Sales Might Slump Under Trump – But He Could Fire up the Industry,” Nicole Spector proposes that gun sales will decline now that Democrats are less able to ban them.

But the softening has little, if anything, to do with a decreased consumer interest in firearms. Instead, it reflects confidence that under a Trump administration, there’s no longer any reason to worry that gun restrictions will be enforced.

Under a Trump administration gun restrictions won’t be enforced? Seriously? The President-Elect picked Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General. The same Jeff Sessions who, unlike the previous two Attorneys General, correctly recognizes his responsibility is to enforce the law. The man who promised to systematically prosecute gun criminals won’t be enforcing gun restrictions?

Perhaps Nicole Spector is simply a moron who used the word “enforced” when she meant “enacted” or “established,” but it would seem that she intentionally used the word “enforced” to imply that a Trump administration would be as lawless and criminal with regard to gun laws as the current administration has been regarding illegal migrants.

This flagrant dishonesty pales in comparison, however, to the hysteria that follows the subheading “Silent – and Deadlier,” which would be absurd in its own right even if it wasn’t one word away from being a fart joke.

Making silencers cheaper and less complicated to obtain will likely drive a spike in consumer activity, as Weeks noted. It could also generously feed the suppressor black market.

“There’s always a black market for silencers; but because silencers are so difficult to get, the black market for them is relatively small,” said Winkler. “By making them easily available, we can expect to make a bigger black market.”

For context, “Weeks” refers to Kellie Weeks, who owns the Georgia Gun Store. Despite the deceptive structure of the first paragraph, Weeks was not suggesting that legalized suppressors would feed the black market. The person making that rather ignorant assertion is Adam Winkler, who despite his lofty position as a law professor at UCLA, has apparently never taken an economics class.

As any Colorado stoner or Washington pothead with two remaining brain cells could tell you, when you legalize a product and make it more readily available, the illicit demand for said product will inevitably decrease, so long as the black market product is not superior to the available product in price or quality.

Given that any idiot with an oil filter or a piece of pipe can make an illicit suppressor, the argument that legalization of a suppressor will actually increase the size of the black market is not based in any observable reality. The only reason a “black market” even exists for suppressors right now is because of the current federal regulatory scheme. Surely no sane person actually thinks that legalizing marijuana would increase the size of the black market for pot? Why would silencers be any different?

If criminals are already getting guns, the idea of them getting silencers may not seem any worse.

The majority of the guns used in crime are- overwhelmingly- handguns. The reason for this is because criminals desire concealability in a weapon. A handgun with a suppressor hanging off the end is far less concealable than a handgun without a suppressor. Since obtaining or creating a suppressor for use in crime is incredibly simple to do, it seems highly unlikely that criminals will suddenly change their habits regarding silencers if they are made more readily available through legal channels.

Until you consider the fact that were a mass shooter to use a silencer, death tolls would surely rise, and people who have permits to carry concealed weapons would be less likely to know that a shooting is taking place and step in because they wouldn’t be able to hear it.

Ah, the “mass shooter” argument. The position that free men should have their rights restricted because someone, somewhere, might hypothetically do something bad. So why, exactly, would the death tolls rise if a mass shooter were to use a suppressor? Does anyone actually believe that no one would be able to hear the screams and staccato of 130+ dB gunshots? Surely an indication of a mass shooting taking place (in addition to gunshots which are still as loud as a jackhammer or a jet taking off at a distance) would be all the people screaming and running away. Even if a mass shooter did opt to use a suppressor, surely the survivors would be thankful not to have permanent hearing loss in addition to all of the other trauma sustained.

The best part of his speculation, however, is the fact NBC is now promoting the idea that someone with a concealed gun could stop a mass shooter, despite the exact opposite argument being employed by the media literally every single time a state sought to liberalize its laws on the carrying of concealed weapons. We’re supposed to believe that the concealed carrier would merely add to the confusion and lead to even more casualties. After all, that’s what we keep being told ad nauseum by the statist-left and their media shills.

“If someone who is carrying a gun lawfully doesn’t know a mass shooting is happening, how can they help out? If you can’t hear the gun shots how do you know someone is coming at you?” said Winkler.

Let’s pretend for a moment that these are actual honest inquiries and not misleading rhetorical questions. If you hear gunfire, most firearms instructors will tell you not to go looking for it. But again, a suppressed gunshot is typically in the range of 130 dB. If you are close enough to respond, you are going to hear it. Any firearms class will teach you the importance of being aware of your surroundings, and if the gunfire doesn’t tip you off, the teeming mass of bloody people who are screaming as they run away is sure to make the situation abundantly clear.

Democrats and those in favor of gun policy reform will likely bring up this argument, but most likely, it won’t do any good. Not for now, at least.

And that’s a good thing, given what an incredibly stupid argument it is.

“For most of Obama’s administration he faced a hostile Congress, making it very difficult for him to pursue his agenda [on gun policy],” said Winkler. “Trump has the majority in both houses and will have the Supreme Court. Democrats have very little to say about it at this point.”

It is important to make clear that Winkler is not totally hostile to American gun owners. In fact, his research is regularly cited when pointing out that individuals with a permit to carry a concealed gun commit crimes at a lower rate than the general population. Still, do not take this man at his word. The fight is far from over, and the Democrats will likely attempt everything within their power to fight the restoration of America’s gun rights, including a filibuster.

Continue to write your congressmen and urge them to support the Hearing Protection Act. The anti-gun left is already mobilizing in an attempt to kill the bill. Our voices need to be louder and more convincing than theirs. If you want silencers, then make yourself heard.

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Hearing Protection Hysteria, Part 1

The proposal to stop treating inert metal tubes with baffles in them as machineguns, and start treating them as typical rifles (which is still pretty ridiculous) has ruffled more than a few feathers on the statist-left.

The Los Angeles Times, for example, has recently published a piece by Michael Hiltzik that he condescendingly titled, “A new absurdity from the gun lobby: The ‘Hearing Protection Act’ (it’s actually about deregulating silencers.)” Unfortunately, none of his editors seemed to notice the inaccuracies, insinuations, and outright lies contained in the newest absurdity from the L.A. Times (it’s actually about gun control.)

The gun lobby certainly is adept at promoting counterintuitive (and probably counterproductive) policy positions, such as that the answer to gun violence in America is more guns.

The opening sentence speaks to a broader philosophical gulf between Americans and their would-be overlords in the media and government. In the eyes of the gun advocate, violence is moral or immoral based on why the violence is being committed. The statist (who views guns as a threat to his monopoly of force) perceives violence as moral or immoral based on the method used and where the perpetrator falls on the left’s Hierarchy of Victimhood. To even use the phrase “gun violence” is to insinuate that it is, in fact, more morally repugnant than other forms of violence. To such a man, the idea of an elderly victim being bludgeoned to death by a stronger assailant is morally preferable to the would-be victim killing his assailant with a gun.

Politicians certainly are adept at giving their bills titles that conceal their purpose, like calling a bill that narrows privacy rights and constrains civil liberties the “Patriot Act.”

You mean the USA PATRIOT Act whose core provisions were written in the 1990s by Joe Biden for the purposes of spying on or incarcerating veterans and conservative groups that were insufficiently loyal to the Clinton regime? That Patriot Act?

Put these proclivities together, and you get the “Hearing Protection Act,” introduced Monday by Reps. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and John Carter (R-Texas). From the title alone, you’d have no idea that it’s about deregulating the sale of gun silencers.

Actually, it’s pretty obvious to anyone who even glances at the bill’s summary that it’s talking about deregulating the sale of gun silencers. Even without a summary, however, Hiltzik’s premise is a false one. The official title of House Resolution 367 is not “The Hearing Protection Act of 2017,” as it is commonly known, but “To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns.” That is literally the bill’s official title. Michael Hiltzik is a liar and a fraud whose inability or unwillingness to perform even the most basic and cursory of research in the process of writing a story is painfully apparent.

Stiff federal regulations on silencers date back to 1934, when they were enacted as part of a crackdown on machine guns and other instruments of mobster violence. (Thanks to the Washington Post’s Michael Rosenwald for some of this history.)

Since when were hand grenades and mortars “instruments of mobster violence?” Silencers were most likely added to the National Firearms Act out of fear that they could aid poachers. There is certainly no historical evidence that they saw widespread use as the tools of gangsters. Even Michael Rosenwald’s idiotic tantrum got that part mostly right, though Hiltzik’s call-out to Rosenwald reveals how collusive and incestuous this kind of scare-reporting is.

In recent years, they’ve stuck in the gun lobby’s craw, as do most restrictions on the sale of firearms and related equipment.

But treating the use of silencers as a public health issue is a relatively new twist. It was first tried in connection with a precursor bill to the Duncan-Carter measure that was introduced in 2015 and died in committee. The silencer industry also has a new high-profile celebrity endorser: Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter who can be seen in a promotional video for Utah-based SilencerCo.

Advocates of the measure say silencers, or “suppressors,” to use the preferred industry term, have been given a bad rap by Hollywood and pulp fiction. They says silencers don’t normally reduce the noise of a gunshot to the quiet “thump,” like a fist hitting a pillow, that one hears in James Bond movies, but only enough to stave off hearing loss and allow hunters to hear each other in the wild.

“They say” that, probably because it is true- as literally anyone who has ever fired a suppressed firearm could probably tell you.

A video featured on the website Bearing Arms (whose editor, Bob Owens, contributed a pro-silencer op-ed to the Los Angeles Times last year) tries to make the case that even with silencers, gunshots fired inside a home remain “distinct and unmistakable.” Actually, the sound of at least the lower-powered silenced weapons in the clip might be difficult to identify as gunshots; you be the judge.

Hiltzik is probably right: a suppressed gunshot might be difficult to identify as such, when recorded with a subpar microphone and then played over the tinny speakers in his Macbook. But in the real world, suppressed gunshots aren’t coming from computer or cell phone speakers whose maximum volume level could not even approach the sound of a gunshot, even if the microphone being used to record the gunshot had the range to accurately portray it. To suggest that a YouTube video recorded with a handheld camera could give an accurate representation of the pressure and volume associated with firing a handgun indoors is a level of asinine akin to suggesting that jet engines aren’t all that loud and using YouTube to prove it.

“Suppressors do not make guns silent or dangerous,” Rep. Carter said in introducing the bill. “They are simply a form of hearing protection, both for the shooter and their hunting dogs.”

Actually, this is a pretty good point. The next time someone tells you they oppose the Hearing Protection Act, ask them why they hate dogs so much.

Public misunderstanding about silencers has made them harder to buy than guns themselves. Under the 1934 National Firearms Act, buyers must specifically register, undergo a federal screening that can take nine months and pay a $200 tax. (The tax hasn’t been raised since the 1930s, when it was deemed high enough to discourage virtually any sales.) Those are the same restrictions governing hand grenades and land mines, though of course there isn’t an industry push to expand sales of those devices. In eight states, including California, New York and Massachusetts, civilian ownership of silencers is banned outright.

But that’s the point, isn’t it? It is ridiculous that a sound muffling device is treated with the same scorn, stigma, and legal obstacles to ownership that hand grenades and land mines currently do. A $200 tax in 1934 was the equivalent of roughly $3,500 in 2017 dollars. The entire point of the law was to deny average Americans the ability to purchase them.

Manufacturers say it’s illogical to raise a higher bars to silencer purchases than gun purchases, but this is a double-edged sword. They may be right, but that’s an argument for making guns as hard to buy as silencers, rather than the other way around.

The solution to the disparity between laws governing firearms and laws governing silencers is not to make firearms as difficult to acquire as silencers. Suggesting otherwise is not an “argument” for anything, but merely the unenlightened opinion of a petty tyrant.

Gun control advocates don’t buy these pro-silencer arguments and neither should you.

These pro-silencer “arguments” aren’t even arguments so much as they are statements of fact based in observable reality. Numerous scientific tests reveal that suppressors only reduce the sound of a gunshot by approximately 30 decibels, from the “permanent hearing loss” range to the “relatively safe” range. Of course gun control advocates don’t buy these arguments. Gun control advocates don’t deal in arguments, they deal in irrational fear and emotion. Their “arguments” against the liberalization of silencer laws are nearly identical to their arguments against guns, and is something akin to “F*** you and your ears. The idea of silencers scares me, so you shouldn’t be allowed to have them.

The argument that silencer sales promote public health by protecting hearing is a smokescreen, they say, for a deregulatory initiative that would largely benefit the firearms industry while increasing the dangers of firearm violence.

Arguably the deregulation of silencers would benefit the people who manufacture silencers, but just saying that they increase unspecified dangers of “firearm violence” (which again is somehow worse than other forms of violence) is not an argument.

“There’s no evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire,” says Kristin Brown of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Except for all of the evidence of a public health issue associated with hearing loss from gunfire.

“There is evidence of a public health crisis from gun violence, and we think that’s where legislative efforts should be directed.”

Actually, no. That’s not true. The news fakers at the Washington Post don’t even think that’s true.

Others point to indications that silencers can reduce public awareness of developing firearm attacks and interfere with law enforcement.

Again, a suppressed gunshot is still in the realm of 130 dB. That is equivalent to a jackhammer or a jet engine on takeoff. And again, this line of reasoning plays into the ignorant myth that suppressors literally “silence” guns. A staccato of gunshots will be identifiable as a staccato of gunshots whether at 130 dB or 160 dB. The difference is that one won’t give everyone in the vicinity permanent hearing loss.

That appeared to happen in the 2013 Southern California murder rampage of  former Los Angeles police Officer Christopher Dorner. As The Times reported, Dorner’s early morning killing of a couple in a parked car in Irvine initially went undetected, even though he loosed 14 gunshots — apparently with a silenced weapon.

You mean when one of LA’s finest decided to go postal? Can these people point to any major city where 14 gunshots in the “early morning” don’t go unnoticed? Unsupressed gunshots are so often unreported that cities are spending millions of dollars on systems to identify their origins. These systems are based on military designs to address the similar problem of locating unsuppressed sniper fire in urban areas. The argument being made here is essentially that suppressors should be banned because they make an already impossible task impossible.

Later in the rampage, when Dorner was cornered in the San Bernardino National Forest, his use of a silenced sniper rifle made it difficult for sheriff’s deputies under fire to pinpoint his position.

As anyone who has ever been in a forest knows, identifying the origin of a gunshot in the unique acoustics of a wooded area is an extremely difficult proposition, irrelevant of suppression. And Remington hunting rifles are “sniper rifles” now?

Silencer makers themselves boast that the equipment makes rifles “more accurate” and allows more “rapid follow-up shots” by “reducing recoil and muzzle flip,” in the words of a promotional brochure from Advanced Armament Corp. That raises the prospect of even more carnage from determined mass shooters.

“Carnage” seems to be a favorite word of hysterical gun control advocates. A sane person would recognize that very little can be done to reduce the “carnage” from a person determined to kill. It is true that suppressors can reduce recoil and allow for faster follow-up shots, as these are desired traits in any semi-automatic firearm. Those who wish to reduce the regulatory burden on prospective silencer owners are pointing to a very real, measurable, and verifiable problem, while the statist-left here is dealing only in projection and imagined hypotheticals. The “logic” here is quite telling. They believe that millions of people should be deprived of a right because of what someone, somewhere, might do with it.

Chris Dorner wasn’t even an example of a “mass shooter” in the traditional sense. He was a cop who already had easy access to weapons and silencers, and whose killing spree was specifically targeted. Smoke grenades and teargas aren’t readily available to the general public either, but Dorner still managed to acquire them.

Gun violence activists see the push for silencer deregulation as largely a marketing ploy by the manufacturing industry. “The industry is focused on producing and selling military-style firearms,” observes Kristen Rand, legislative director of the Violence Policy Center. “Silencers are part of the appeal of the militarized firearm. The industry sells them as an add-on.”

Except, as previously pointed out, tens of thousands of current and former servicemen suffer from permanent hearing loss precisely because the military doesn’t use silencers in any appreciable capacity. To suggest that military use is driving suppressor sales is a blatant lie. One need only too look at the promotional material produced by the silencer industry to see that military equivocation is essentially nonexistent.

Seriously.

That may explain Donald Trump Jr.’s real role as an advocate. His endorsement is highly unlikely to expand acceptance of a gun deregulation among those who already favor stricter controls; but it may help to sell silencers to gun buyers already aligned with his father’s politics.

This is at best borderline tautological. People who support gun rights are more likely to support gun rights if someone they voted for because he supports gun rights tells them that he supports gun rights, or because the son of said gun rights supporter supports gun rights?

The real flaw in the silencer lobby’s efforts, however, may be the patent obviousness of their fakery. Calling the Duncan-Carter bill the “Hearing Protection Act” is so absurdly transparent an effort to deceive that voters may be prompted to ask an obvious question: “What are they hiding?”

And as the official title of HR 367 (To provide that silencers be treated the same as long guns) makes abundantly clear, the only one engaging in a transparent effort to deceive seems to be Michael Hiltzik and the editorial staff at the Los Angeles Times.

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The Enemy Never Sleeps

Throughout the past several election cycles, Democrats have suffered significant losses in state-level contests. In many states, this has led to such large Republican majorities that the Democrat caucus is a largely irrelevant force in state-level politics, outside of posturing and caterwauling before a friendly media. That being said, liberty-minded individuals should not view the current situation as an excuse to rest on their laurels.

Despite having very little power outside of the Left Coast and strongholds in the Northeast, Democrats are actively trying to subvert, destroy, or otherwise thwart the implementation of policies which might transfer more power to the individual through the shrinking of the state. Conversely, these statists are still aggressively attempting to implement their own agenda, and even their failed attempts at destroying Liberty can be a good indicator of what to expect if the pendulum were to swing the other way. Consider the Missouri General Assembly, for example.

Barely two weeks into the 2017 legislative session, Representative Stacey Newman of Missouri’s 87th District- whose hoplophobic obsession with guns borders on mental illness- has introduced no fewer than four bills aimed at restricting or curtailing firearms freedom in the state. The first is a draconian universal background check bill, which criminalizes lending a gun to a friend or family member outside of certain extremely narrow exceptions and demands six months in prison and $1,000 in extortion from anyone caught violating the provision, for every day that a gun has been lent, sold, or otherwise transferred without first seeking government permission.

Such person shall be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day during any portion of which a violation of any  provision of this section is committed or continued by such person and shall be punished accordingly.

Naturally, agents of the state such as police are exempt from the proposed law. It wouldn’t do for the government’s enforcers to be held to the same standards which they seek to impose on others.

The second bill proposed by Newman demands a return to Missouri’s Jim Crow era requirement for individuals to first obtain a government permit to purchase a firearm. Only this time, instead of only applying to pistol purchases, the requirement would extend to any firearm, including rifles and shotguns. Worse still, the bill is intentionally written to create opportunities for abuse:

The sheriff of any county may elect to also require an applicant to submit the following additional information to the department at the time of his or her application: (1) The applicant’s psychiatric history; and (2) Character references.

Character references? If Stacey Newman were to have her way, an individual would have to fill out an SF-86 before asking permission for a permit that would enable an allegedly free man to exercise his right to keep and bear arms. The bill also requires any person who “moves from one county to another county” to alert the sheriff’s department in the new county that he has a firearms purchase permit. It would also unconstitutionally ban “any person on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s domestic terrorist watch list,” from obtaining a permit, despite the fact that said individuals have neither been charged or convicted of any crime.

Finally, the bill prohibits anyone from being issued a firearms purchase permit if they have not “completed a certified firearms safety course” or “passed a federal background check.”

The third bill in Stacey Newman’s cavalcade of cretinousness would create a category of “extreme risk protection orders” which would require the government to confiscate all arms possessed by an individual, without any due process, and without the victim of such a confiscation having been charged or convicted of a crime. The threshold for enacting an “extreme risk protection order” is so low that literally anyone deprive literally anyone else of arms by merely signing an affidavit.

The language of the bill is intentionally broad and incredibly vague, so as to enable as much abuse of the law as possible. One of the listed criteria which would trigger a gun confiscation is “Evidence of recent acquisition of firearms, rifles, shotguns, or other deadly weapons.” In other words, the mere acquisition of firearms is evidence that you need to have them taken away.

The bill even provides for the confiscation of guns that do not belong to the victim of an “extreme risk protection order,” unless the gun is stored in a manner which provides an unspecified level of security against access by the individual having his guns seized.

If the location to be searched during the execution of a gun seizure warrant is jointly occupied by multiple parties and a firearm, rifle, or shotgun located during the execution of a gun seizure warrant is owned by a person other than the person in the gun seizure warrant, then the firearm, rifle, or shotgun shall not be seized if the firearm, rifle, or shotgun is stored in a manner that the person named in the gun seizure warrant does not have access to or control of the firearm, rifle, or shotgun, and there is no evidence of unlawful possession of the firearm, rifle, or shotgun by the owner.

Don’t own a gun safe? Well, now your property is being confiscated without due process of law because your roommate has a vindictive ex-girlfriend.

Once the firearms are confiscated, the state can wait up to two weeks before holding a hearing that determines whether or not you should be “allowed” to own, posses, or purchase a firearm. If the judge happens to decide that you happen to meet any of the intentionally vague and subjective criteria, you could have your right to keep and bear arms denied for a year. The prohibition can be renewed every year in perpetuity with no recourse for the accused.

As dystopian, intrusive, and unconstitutional as the first three bills are, the final bill in Newman’s anti-gun barrage is the most absurd. A reintroduction of a bill she has sponsored in previous sessions, House Bill 366 would impose bizarre and illogical restrictions on gun ownership in Missouri. It is difficult to pick any one single line that stands out- they are all so incredibly outrageous- so you should simply read the full text of the bill yourself.

Newman has previously insinuated that the bill is intended to make a point about the difficulty that woman is able to avail herself of legal infanticide in the state, but her theatrics (such as attempting to ban vasectomies) only serve to illustrate what an insane, radical, screeching harpy she is. These are not the actions of a statesman seeking to illustrate an idea- they’re the flailing tantrums one would expect of a modern university student.

Newman is far from the only legislator in Missouri’s General Assembly which seeks to erode or destroy firearms freedoms. Face-tattooed Representative Bruce Franks Jr. of Missouri’s 78th House District wants to make it a crime to be the victim of firearm theft. (Which is actually rather ironic, all things considered.)

Evidence that a law enforcement officer has recovered a lost or stolen firearm that was not reported lost or stolen as required under this section may be considered as evidence that the last recorded owner of the firearm violated this section.

So how would this play out in reality? If you have a gun stolen from you, and do not realize it until after the firearm has been recovered by police, you could be charged with a crime. There is no “registry” or “record” of gun ownership in Missouri. The closest any agency of the state could come to identifying the “last recorded owner” is by doing a trace on the gun through the BATFE and identifying the original owner listed on the 4473. (Which is itself probably a violation of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986.) So if you, as the original owner of a firearm, sell a gun privately to another individual and the gun is stolen from him or a subsequent owner and later recovered, you could be charged with a crime.

Franks’ bill is is identical to another bill in the Missouri Senate, introduced by Senator and Black Lives Matter radical Jamilah Nasheed. (Who has a bit of a history with Missouri’s gun laws.) The bills closely resemble an illegal city ordinance proposed by Lyda Crewson of St. Louis.

Why the obsession with criminalizing lost or stolen guns? The answer is actually fairly simple. It is clear that the statist-left’s end-game with regard to firearms is eventually total confiscation. These bills are not about preventing crime in the short term (who wouldn’t report a stolen gun upon discovery?) but about aiding gun control efforts in the long term. While gun owners generally regard the concept of a tragic boating accident as a gag, the statists take such talk very seriously as a potential obstacle to future confiscation. So at some unspecified point in the future (or in the present if you live in California, New York, or Massachusetts) when the jackboots knock on your door and demand you surrender your guns, the fact that you “lost them all in a tragic boating accident last summer” could still be used to incarcerate you.

The maintenance of liberty requires constant vigilance.

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