Thursday, October 26, 2006

Follow Up to "The Exodus Continues"

This post started out as a comment about a post I made on Tuesday. Instead of a comment, I decided to turn it into a post, because it started to get too long. If you haven’t followed the debate in the comments, let me sum up.

I mentioned in the earlier post that gunnies should move out of anti-gun states like Massachusetts and New Jersey. That post struck a nerve with Bitter, a blogger whose work I’ve long respected. In a later comment I really hit that nerve again when I dismissed victories that pro-gun people in Massachusetts have made. My statement was harsh, perhaps overly so. But I still believe that such victories are holding actions and will not result in materially reducing Massachusetts’s draconian gun laws. Here are my thoughts on the matter.

While pro-gunnies in Massachusetts have made some headway, there's no way they will win major battles simply because the deck is so heavily stacked against them.

For instance, Bitter mentioned in her comment that the firearms industry has abandoned Massachusetts by not fighting against bans on the sale of certain guns. There was litigation when Attorney General Tom Reilly started using his consumer protection powers to create these bans. The industry lost that battle when the Massachusetts Supreme Court said Reilly could do it. After that, the industry pretty much has abandoned that state.

The government and the courts are against guns and in effect their owners. Even that is not as significant as the beliefs of a majority of Massachusetts residents. Most of them are anti-gun, especially in regards to self-defense issues. They elect anti-gun politicians, who actively run on anti-gun platforms (Tom Menino anyone).

Now, few of these residents or the government have a problem with people owning a shotgun for trap or skeet and maybe a rifle (preferably not semi-auto) for hunting or perhaps a little competition. Most people though have problems with handguns, black rifles with all the bells and whistles (the state has an assault-weapons ban), combat-oriented shooting, and other things. Collecting is even suspect unless you maintain a collection for educational purposes: personal enjoyment or hope of later profit are not good enough (see page 1 of the linked pdf file).

Because the majority of people in MA are so anti-gun, gun ownership in MA will continue to be circumscribed and suspect. I don’t think gun ownership will be completely banned in Massachusetts, at least not in my lifetime. Since guns won't be banned, there will always be room to negotiate where the boundaries lie. These negotiations are where pro-gun people in Massachusetts will have their victories. I don’t see hope for meaningful change especially as the state is so controlled by Boston.

The “freedoms” that Massachusetts allowed me were not enough. I’m an active gun collector. I shoot pistols in bullseye competition. I own one black rifle (Bill owns more). When I lived in Massachusetts, I followed the law. I went hat in hand to the police department and begged for a gun license. I even registered a few guns (most stayed out of state).

Rather than fight entrenched laws, politicians, and a majority of people, I feel it's better for gunnies to leave certain states and move to freer states and use their votes, money, and influence to ensure that those freer states never go the way of Massachusetts or New Jersey.

Massachusetts is losing population for several reasons mainly due to the cost of living there. Some Massachusetts residents come to New Hampshire and try to pass anti-gun laws (among other things). The best way to short-circuit these efforts is for pro-gun people to come to settle in New Hampshire (or say Pennsylvania, Nevada, and other states experiencing similar situations).

Bill and I moved to New Hampshire to reclaim our gun rights (the cheaper cost of living didn’t hurt either) and we’re glad we did.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Exodus Continues

Something’s happening in Massachusetts. Bruce of MassBackwards announced that he is moving to New Hampshire. Recently, radio talk show host Howie Carr mentioned that he might just leave the state if the very liberal Deval Patrick becomes governor.

This morning, the morning radio host, Scott Allen Miller, mentioned that he receives a lot of e-mails saying that if Deval Patrick wins they too will leave the state. He got a call from someone who said he moved to New Hampshire about two years ago for “quality of life” issues. When pressed, the caller said he moved to get away from Massachusetts’s socialism especially its gun control laws.

He described having to pay $100.00 to get a license while praying that his town’s police chief is not some gun controller who will refuse to issue a license. You must have a license to own a gun in Massachusetts even if you never take the gun out of your home.

Bill (Yosemite Sam) and I made the best decision of our lives when we fled Massachusetts mainly because of its gun control laws. New Hampshire needs as many gunnies as possible. There are too many former Massachusetts citizens (aka Massholes) who come here only for economic reasons and then try to pass the same laws that made their former state the hole it is. Gunnie votes will at least ensure that no new gun laws are proposed or passed.

We have to face facts. Some states are lost to gunnies even if we don’t want to accept it. Miller answered his caller by saying that he should’ve stayed and fought for better gun laws and less statist control (I’m paraphrasing a little). It’s easy to say that unless you’re looking at Massachusetts gun laws and realizing that it would take only one minor infraction of those laws and you lose your gun rights for life—potentially even if you moved to another state.

We also have to face the fact that a majority of people in Massachusetts actually like their gun laws. Deval Patrick thinks they need to be even more draconian (it’s for the children) and his beliefs are certainly not hurting his campaign. If he becomes governor, it’s likely that people in Massachusetts will face even worse gun laws in a few years. Laws like only one gun purchase per month, perhaps a ban on semi-automatics, who knows what else.

For me, Massachusetts and New Jersey are lost to gun owners. California and Illinois are nearly lost. If you live in the first two states, move to a free state and help us fight the good fight. If you live in the last two, you might win a battle or two and that will help, but you're probably fighting a losing battle.

So if you’re reading this Bruce, plan on going to a New Hampshire gun store. Look at all the new guns that Massachusetts prevents you from buying (Kimber handguns, Browning High Powers, KelTecs, Pardini target pistols, Glocks, Hammerli target pistols, Springfield Armory pistols, Kahr handguns [even though they’re made in Massachusetts], and more). Enjoy your freedom, but try not to spend too much money.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Must Read Article

This is a must read article by Michael Bane about the growing division between the hunting and sport shooting gun communities. I've felt for a long time that those who advocate that RKBA is mostly about hunting do all of us a disservice.
Hunting is in decline and when no one hunts any more then the gun banners will be able to argue that there is now no need for guns and that we can now get rid of that pesky 2nd Amendment.

Why I'll be voting a straight Republican ticket.

Denise in a previous post talks about how she has ennui about the upcoming elections and how she is disgusted with both political parties. I have to largely agree with her. I am tired of the Republicans spendthrift ways and petty moralizing. But given that, I am still going to go into the voting booth and vote for the Repubs.
Here's why:

A vote for a third party or not voting is the same as a vote for the Democrats. The time to "send them a message" was in the primaries. You may not like what the Republicans are doing, but trust me, what the Democrats will do will be many, many times worse. I expect a new, expanded assault weapons bill almost immediately in a new Democrat controlled Congress. Look to California for a taste of the gun control that will be pushed on a nationwide basis.

Some people have thought about voting for a pro gun Democrat like Ford in Tennessee or Webb in Virginia. I think this is a mistake. While Ford or Webb may be actually pro gun, the Democrat leadership that runs the Party most decidedly is not. The agenda that will be moved forward will be the leadership's agenda (Pelosi, Kennedy, et al.) not the agenda of the newly elected Senators. Until the Democratic Party removes their anti gun leadership and replaces them with people who believe in Second Amendment rights (about the time hell freezes over), a vote for any Dem. is an exercise of cutting your nose off to spite your face.

Finally, I cannot vote for a party that would hold this man in any esteem or actually consider him to be an elder statesmen.(Link via Grouchy Old Cripple)

I thought I didn't like Jimmy Carter before now, but what can I say about someone who would utter a statement like this:

"Carter said despite tough talk, war is less likely than it was 12 years ago - largely because North Korea is developing weapons and the United States would be less likely to attack a country with nuclear capabilities."

So now you know why I am going to hold my nose and vote for the Republicans.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Mayor Menino, Let's Make a Deal

You’ve probably heard how Boston Mayor Thomas Menino thinks his city’s recent spate of murders is all New Hampshire’s fault. Well, maybe not all New Hampshire’s fault because he also blames Vermont and Maine. You see, he believes that guns flow from these freer states to Massachusetts even with its strict and unconstitutional gun laws.

Menino has joined with New York Mayor Bloomberg and other mayors in advocating more Federal gun laws. So far, no New Hampshire mayors have joined his and Bloomberg little junta. May it stay that way.

There’s no real proof that New Hampshire is supplying Massachusetts criminals with guns in meaningful amounts. I’m sure some guns are bought here legally and smuggled into Massachusetts. I don’t believe though that it’s the problem Menino wants to make it.

However, Menino needs to pay more attention to his own criminals. You see a Dorchester resident (it’s an incorporated suburb of Boston) came up to New Hampshire where he shot a decorated police officer in the head. It’s not the first time he’s come up to New Hampshire and committed a crime. So far the officer is still alive and the bad guy is in a Boston jail and will (probably) soon be sent back to Manchester, NH to face justice. I hope and pray Officer Michael Briggs makes it.

Mr. Mayor, I have a deal for you. I’ll agree to keep my guns out of Massachusetts if you agree to keep your criminals home.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Political Ennui, This Year

I can’t say that I’m excited by politics in this off-year election. For one thing, I can’t vote in Massachusetts even though I work and thus pay taxes to that benighted state (I live in New Hampshire and though I pay MA state income tax, I can’t so much as check a book out of a library).

The gubernatorial race there is interesting. It’s between Kerry Healy (R) and Deval Patrick (D). Neither are gunnies and neither would reduce Massachusetts’ draconian gun laws. Chances are Patrick would make them worse, so there’s that. I can’t vote for either of them anyway, so ho hum.

The New Hampshire gubernatorial race looks like it’ll lead to the incumbent’s (John Lynch) re-election. Lynch hasn’t been bad on the gun issue although he did veto a Castle Doctrine-type law. For that, I’ll vote for the other guy, who will probably not win.

I guess I’m trying to say that I’m bummed out about this election. I find myself shouting “a plague on both their houses.” The Republicans haven’t eased gun laws as much as I would’ve liked, but they’re better than they were six years ago. However, they passed a bill trying to make online poker impossible to play in the United States by forbidding banks from dealing with online poker rooms.

The Democrats would probably make gun laws worse, but they might not pass certain other freedom-infringing legislation. That leads to a political ennui on my part. That in turn has led to guilty feelings.

I know I should be involved and I believe that voting is a precious right. But, what if our candidates, in both parties, are out of touch with the rest of us? What about “stealth” candidates who say they’ll support gun rights, but then vote against them once in office? What about candidates who’ll support my gun rights, but strip away other rights?

What’s a girl to do?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Quote of the decade

"Our nation has too many people who are not only unwilling to learn how to protect themselves, but who are also determined to prevent innocent third persons from practicing active defense. A person has the right to choose to be a pacifist, but it is wrong to force everyone else to act like a pacifist. It is the policies of the pacifist-aggressives which have turned American schools into safe zones for mass murderers"

--Dave Kopel

Go read the entire article if you haven't already.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mugging as Amusement

A long time ago (at least in blogtime), I wrote about a young actress, Nicole duFresne, who was shot and killed in a mugging. There wasn’t a lot to the story then, but now the bad guys are on trial as reported in the New York Times.

Tatiana McDonald was one of the muggers. She agreed to testify against the shooter, Rudy Fleming. Her testimony gives a chilling look at how some people live their lives.

She and six others (two females and five males) decided to go out after midnight and find people to hurt. For amusement. The five men wanted the two women to fight any girls they came across. Again just for amusement.

They saw a young man in a white leather jacket and Fleming wanted the jacket. Another mugger hit the guy in the jacket so hard that his hand became swollen. The guy in the jacket escaped with his jacket and his life by running.

Our “wilders” came across another man who made a motion like he was reaching into his jacket for a gun. They left him alone. Wow, what a thought. Even the appearance of being able to defend yourself with a gun is enough to avoid a mugging. For all we know the man may have been intelligent enough to actually be armed.

After a little while they ran into Nicole duFresne with her fiancé and another couple. Out of the blue, Fleming pistol whipped duFresne’s fiancé. DuFresne looked at her fiancé’s damaged face and yelled, “What are you going to do, you going to shoot us? Is that what you wanted?” Fleming pushed her and she yelled at him again and he shot her.

The gun didn’t shoot her; Fleming did it using a gun. He could have stabbed her just as easily because they were close enough when he shot her that he couldn’t straighten his gun arm. He killed her because she didn’t give him the “respect” and fear that he felt he deserved.

These muggers were young people who should’ve been worried about school or jobs. Instead they come from a subculture that finds enjoyment and a sort of weird fulfillment in terrorizing other people. They evidently didn’t plan to kill anyone that night, but their actions led to them to it. Now they or at least Fleming will go to prison for a long time.

The problem isn’t guns and it isn’t because duFresne had the gumption to stand up for herself. The problem is a belief that other peoples' pain and suffering is entertainment. If you want to understand gun deaths in America, including school shootings, you have to look at the twisted morality of people who disassociate themselves from their own humanity.

You have to look at a subculture where going out to hurt people is fun and where believing another person has given you the slightest bit of “disrespect” is a motive for killing. Forget about gun control figure out how to fix this.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Valid Violence Reseach (For a Change)

I’ve used Ten Ring at times to complain about anti-gun research. Most of it amounts to “Guns are bad. Get rid of guns you get rid of crime.” They create spurious statistics and facts to “prove” their point. You’ve all seen this with claims like:
● You’re 43 times more likely to get killed with your own gun than shoot a bad guy;
● .50 caliber rifles are destructive and can shoot down airplanes;
● Assault weapons are gang bangers favored weapons;
● And so on ad infinitum.

We know these “facts” aren’t true and we can prove it. Unfortunately, we know that a few of their arguments have a grain of truth to them although blown all out of proportion—for example, .50 caliber rounds can shoot down an airplane when dozens if not hundreds are fired from a machine gun in usually aerial combat.

I just read about a researcher, Dr. John Rich, who’s actually doing valid research into gun and other violence. I'm assuming Dr. Rich might be anti-gun simply because he’s a physician interested in violence prevention. Too many doctors become anti-gun possibly for the valid reason that too many of them see too many gunshot wounds.

I might feel differently about guns (perish the thought) if I spent my days pulling bullets out of flesh or interviewing the wounded. But, I know that banning guns won’t work; criminals will simply get black-marketed guns or use knives, bats, bare hands to get what they want. I also know that 99.something percent of gun owners don’t use their guns criminally. That 99 percent should not be punished for misdeeds of a few.

Dr. Rich hasn’t made what I’ll call the physician’s mistake. He interviewed 100 gun shot victims and found that they used violence (gun or otherwise for that matter) to become a player in their neighborhoods and also to get a reputation of “don’t mess with me.”

His research could lead to something a lot more productive than the “guns are bad” foolishness of his colleagues. So even if Dr. Rich is or is not a gun banner, I want to thank him for doing honest and valid research.