Campus carry in Texas starts today

Today (August 1, 2016), law-abiding citizens licensed to carry a handgun are able to do so in a concealed manner on certain Texas college/university campuses.

Text of the law.

Please – everyone – keep the dumbassery to a minimum.

This goes for folks carrying handguns, and also for folks carrying dildos.

There’s no reason to get hysterical.

There’s no reason to start strutting around demonstrating what a (ignorant and irresponsible) jackass you can be.

Keep it in your pants (be it a Glock or a cock).

Smile.

Be polite.

Be friendly.

Be empathic.

Texas AG files lawsuit against the City of Austin

Official copy of the lawsuit can be found here.

It’s simple.

The City of Austin continues to violate state law.

They were asked, they were warned. The city officials obviously know the law, yet they continue to defy the law, so now the city is being sued.

Look — you don’t have to like the particulars of the law, but the law is the law. Who does this hurt? Not just the law abiding citizens of Texas, but it hurts the citizens of Austin because where do these fines come from? Where does the money come from to handle this lawsuit? The taxpayers.

We’re taxed enough.

The city’s budget is strapped enough.

It’s a flagrant disregard not just for the rule of law, but for responsible stewardship of city resources because this was entirely preventable by just obeying the law.

I mean, we plebeians are expected to obey the law. And if we don’t, we are held accountable. I’m not sure why the Mayor and City Council think they can disregard the law. Not being a very good role model for the children… 🙂

Let’s see if the City opts to be responsible and resolve this quickly, or if they’re going to stretch this out, fight a losing battle, and cost the city thousands upon thousands of dollars. Again, you don’t have to like the law. Heck, expect them to use the money not on fines for disobeying but perhaps towards getting the law changed! That’d be a more responsible use of the money.

Bottom line: Austin taxpayers should be upset that their Mayor and City Council show a flagrant disrespect for the law they are supposed to execute, and in doing so are going to cost the city thousands upon thousands of dollars.

 

Aghast

It’s not right to politicize tragedy.

But after a madman drives a truck through a crowd in Nice, France, killing 80+ people and wounding over 200…

How can you keep saying it’s because of guns?

 

Why strip away only this one right?

There’s talk these days about stripping away particular rights of American citizens, all in the name of “safety” and “saving lives” or what have you.

It’s curious tho why only one particular right is discussed as worthy of stripping away.

Should people on a terror watch list be allowed to attend a suspected radicalized house of worship? Why allow them to congregate at all? Why is a person suspected of planning terror allowed to have a Facebook or Twitter account to spew hate and network with other terrorists? If the pen is mightier than the sword, shouldn’t we go after Tweets instead of guns? “Like” or “share” if you agree.

We should also allow the FBI to have unfettered access to their emails and tap their phones so we can ensure they aren’t planning the next massacre. Being on this secret list is reason enough; it shouldn’t require the lengthy process of obtaining a warrant from an obtuse judge. I say quarter a cop in their homes for extra security.

Full article

Indeed. The Founding Fathers never envisioned “assault rifles”, nor did they envision the Internet – or Pokémon Go (and the intensive technology that enables it). And if the Internet can be used as a gateway for pedophiles, to enable child pornography, sex trafficking, terrorist plotting, and all manner of other atrocities well… why aren’t those rights being stripped?

Why just this particular one? Why is this particular one acceptable?

If some person is so potentially dangerous, why aren’t we locking them up? Why aren’t we just executing them on the spot?

I know I’m going to an extreme, but it’s the direction this thinking points towards.

Tell me folks… where does it end?

When it is enough?

And why isn’t it already too much?

Peace… and bullies

I honestly do support peace, communication and compromise.

But I do so not from a position of virtue singling or that these ideas are morally superior. It’s because I truly understand how much violence and hatred suck. I’m talking screaming, blood spatter and bodies ‘suck.’

Unfortunately, we have two contributing problems to the third. One is that ‘peace’ has become a not just a moral issue, but a moral superiority one. “I’m better than you because I believe in peace.’ Two is that this position has expanded into cowardice and inaction. That is someone who uses the excuse of “I believe in peace” so they don’t have to step up or confront something that is spinning out into extremes and heading towards violence.

The third problem is bullies. See in a peaceful, non violent world, the bully is king. He can be as pushy, demanding, vicious and violent as he wants and nobody can stop him. Or to be more precise, nobody will stop him. It’s a win for the violent bully.

That’s what happens when people think that peace is a morally superior position. First, they forget that the negotiating table is the option that sucks less. Second they’re at a loss when someone realizes the inherent weakness of their unpreparedness and exploits it. Third, they’ve lost sight of negotiation without the ability to back it up is begging. Fourth, way too often they start crossing the lines too. (Different tactics, but very much the same strategy and goals.) That last leads to the fifth problem, which is they see no reason not to become bullies themselves.

That works until the shooting starts.

I’d kind of like to get back to the negotiating table with the understanding that peace is not a virtue, it’s survival. Because the alternative is really really ugly.

– Marc MacYoung

Posted by Marc on Facebook.

10 Questions that need to (always) be asked

Ken White puts forth 10 questions:

These are all questions that I think ought to be asked whenever we, as a society, decide whether to task and empower the government to do a thing.

[…]

Even if I don’t agree with people’s answers to these questions, getting them to ask the questions and confront the issues reflected in the questions would promote the values that I care about.

  1. Does the United States Constitution permit the government to do this?
  2. What would this power look like if it were expanded dramatically in scope or in time?
  3. What would this obligation look like if exercised indifferently by unaccountable people?
  4. What would your worst enemy do with this power?
  5. Does this power make a choice about morals, ethics, or risk that individuals ought to make?
  6. Does this power represent the government putting its thumb on the scales to prefer some competitors over others, perhaps based on their relative power and influence?
  7. Does this power set up a conflict between laws and rights?
  8. Are we giving this power to the right level of government?
  9. Are we acting out of fear, anger, or self-promotion?
  10. Is there any evidence the government is any good at this?

I’m only listing the questions here (mostly for my own future reference). You must read the full article to UNDERSTAND the questions he’s presenting.

These questions stand out to me, not only because I also think they are worthwhile to ask, but because I think people don’t consider the ramifications of what they often demand (from government). Because people often want X and find their own ways to justify X as Right™, Good™, and Necessary™. Trouble is, X winds up hurting a lot of other people, and so the anger, resentment, and division we’re currently suffering from grows even worse.

A simpler way to look at it?

Change places with whom X would injure. Is X still Right, Good, Necessary, Fair, Desirable, now that you’re on the short end of the stick?

Again, we don’t have to agree on the answers to these questions, but these are questions worthy of asking any time something is ask/demanded/expected of government. Let these questions drive you to think, to study, to research, to contemplate, to reconsider…

What happens when you don’t have anything to protect yourself?

People fucking die.

– Tom Araya, Slayer

During a June 27, 2016 concert in Pratteln, Switzerland, Tom Araya – singer and bassist for the band Slayer – had this to say during his stage rap:

Is it true that every household has to own a rifle or a gun? No? I thought everybody was supposed to have a rifle or a gun in their home. It’s not right? How else are you gonna defend your country?

Where you are in the world, you need to protect yourselves. Not from each other, but from invaders. And you know what I’m talking about, right? You should be aware of your invaders — people that come here to do you harm. It’s not right. You should be able to protect and defend your country. That’s the way it should be everywhere. ‘Cause when you don’t have anything to protect yourself or your fellow countrymen, what happens? People fucking die. They do! Don’t they? Yeah. You can see it going on.

I’m not gonna name names, but you can see what’s going on in other countries. ‘Cause they can’t protect themselves. And that’s what I’m talking about: being able to protect yourself and your fellow countrymen and your fucking country. I’m being serious, man. This isn’t a fucking joke. You know, it really sucks to know that other people die, because you can’t protect them. That fucking sucks.

Video here:

(h/t Blabbermouth)

Maybe high-capacity IS the problem

Shootings at schools are different. These events are acts of execution, not battles. They are no different from the guillotine, one lined up after another and sent to the next world.

And they are that way for one reason. Capacity.

The above comes from an article “I Am An AR-15 Owner And I’ve Had Enough“, written by Daniel Hayes. It was posted to Facebook by a friend of mine, and he found the article interesting and requested the opinions of gun-owner friends on it. While I commented on his FB posting, I wanted to post and expand upon my comments here.

Apparently, it’s a math problem

Mr. Hayes says “these events are acts of execution, not battles”. I agree. He says it’s because of capacity. I disagree.

He was able to push people away from him with long bursts of gunfire and barely give his victims a chance to take that split second, when he was reloading, to leap on him and tear him apart.

For those who haven’t fired an AR-15, you can’t underestimate the importance of this. Extended magazines are the reason the San Bernardino killers were so brash and confident in the attack they carried out. They knew that no one could get near them, that there would barely be a moment when they would be vulnerable to an unarmed person grabbing them and stopping them.

Give me three 100 round drum magazines and I could hold my whole block hostage for a day. Give me thirty 10 round magazines and someone will be able to stop me.

Mr. Hayes is saying capacity is the problem. If we could just force people to have to reload more often, we could stop these things from happening, because that would give us time.

Here’s a promotional and marketing video from SureFire, a manufacturer of 60-round and 100-round magazines for AR-patterned rifles. In this video, they take a fully automatic rifle (i.e. something highly regulated; that doesn’t get used in “mass shooting” despite media and politician hysterics and misinformation) and perform a demonstration; it’s useful to use a full-auto rifle for this demonstration because it takes the human-performance element out of the equation (no tired fingers). They use standard 30-round magazines and fire 200 rounds — it takes 37.51 seconds. They then use SureFire’s 100-round magazines to fire 200 rounds — it takes 18.50 seconds.

The numbers and performance speaks for itself. And SureFire is flat-out promoting that increased magazine capacity allows one to put more rounds downrange in less time.

One of my mentors and teachers, one of the best defensive handgun instructors in the world, Tom Givens of Rangemaster, stresses that the reason we prefer larger capacity firearms isn’t so we can shoot more – it’s so we can reload less. Why would we want to reload less? Because if you have to reload, that means you are out of the fight for however long it takes you to reload the gun. In a fight for your life, those seconds matter, so the less you have to reload, the less you’re out of the fight.

So, having to reload slows you down and takes you out of the fight – SureFire and Tom Givens both acknowledge it. Kinda sounds like Mr. Hayes has a point, eh?

However, I would assert Mr. Hayes is looking at the problem from one side. I’d further assert he’s failing to properly promote the solution he really seems to be putting forth.

Attitude

Mr. Hayes states a key factor in capacity is that the killer is able to walk around without fear — with safe knowledge that no one will fight back:

They knew that no one could get near them, that there would barely be a moment when they would be vulnerable to an unarmed person grabbing them and stopping them.

He continues saying the solution is to make these (would-be) killers fear:

There’s a saying that goes “when seconds count the police are only minutes away.” It’s meant to enforce the truism that we are all ultimately responsible for our own defense when the chips are down. But what it really reinforces is the importance of time. Time matters immensely when you’re defending yourself. You need time to do so. You need opportunity. Ban magazines over ten rounds. Give potential victims time and opportunity and in giving them that time we will deter murderers from attempting these mass shootings. They will fear that they won’t be able to kill enough to make their point before they are crushed by their chosen victims. They are cowards. Give them reason to fear.

Emphasis added.

Now let’s look at the whole of what Mr. Hayes is putting forth.

He’s saying if magazines had reduced capacity, that would necessitate more reloads, which would create more time-gaps, and in those time-gaps – people could fight back.

People could fight back.

Fight back.

So really, what Mr. Hayes is saying is fighting back is the best way to stop these things from happening.

Whodathunkit?

Well, it may seem obvious to me (and maybe you) that fighting back is the best solution, but we’ve become a society where “violence is never the answer” and where the response to rape is to pee on your attacker or just teach him not to rape. So there are people out there that cannot fathom fighting as a solution.

But time and time again, it’s been demonstrated that fighting back works – and is THE best solution.

So Mr. Hayes, I’ll agree with you there: we need to enable people to fight back.

Fighting Back

Enabling people to fight back starts by helping people overcome mentalities of helplessness. Thinking that someone else (you know, like a group of guys with guns — probably AR-15’s with 30-round magazines) will be your savior – or worse, that it’s someone else’s responsibility to save you, instead of your own. Because two big things our society suffers from these days are displaced responsibility and learned helplessness.

Mr. Hayes suggests that during a reload, people could jump on the shooter and tear him apart. Well, if you have no mindset of violence, of fighting, of “tearing people apart”; if you have no skills in unarmed combat; if you have no weapons on you or knowledge of how to use them… how in the world are you going to jump on someone and tear them apart? You will not suddenly rise to the occasion with the knowledge and skill of the War Gods; you will descend to your training. If you’ve never had any training, if you’ve never considered fighting, if you think “violence is never the answer” then it will continue to be your answer.

So the first thing we need to do is get people to realize that fighting back is key.

All the time-gaps in the world don’t matter if you don’t have the wherewithal to take advantage of them.

I’ll agree that rushing someone with a rifle could be a losing proposition. What would I prefer? My own tool, that can enable me to stay behind some sort of protection, while still “rushing” the attacker – you know, like my own gun. Ceasing restrictions and prohibitions on where I can carry it. Gun-free zones obviously aren’t; or at least, the only people that heed it are those who obey they law and aren’t a threat to your personal safety. These mass killers prefer gun-free zones because they know people won’t or can’t fight back.

And in fighting back, I want to ensure I can fight maximally. I don’t want to be out of the fight, so I want as much capacity as possible. Capacity works both ways: it helps us good guys too. Keep watching the SureFire video:

Q: Is that something you would have liked to have had on your last deployment?

A: Absolutely. To get that many rounds downrange on target is vital to winning the fight.

Last I looked at Tom Givens’ student incident data set, of the 65 cases there were no reloads, but a couple cases did end with an empty handgun. The range of shots fired goes from 1 to 12. Reducing capacity could have very well cost these innocent people their lives because you can’t fight with an empty gun; or if they could have reloaded it, those 3-4 seconds they were out of the fight for the reload could have been fatal. I mean, if Mr. Hayes thinks a reload is enough time to “leap on him and tear him apart”, again, that can work both ways and enable good people to be “torn apart”.

So you see, increased capacity works for preserving life as well. It very much enables us to stay in the fight, and go home to our loved ones. Just ask the police that you count on to come save you, if they’d prefer a 10-round magazine or a 30-round magazine. You want them to preserve your life, don’t you?

High-capacity magazines are not the problem, and banning or reducing magazine capacity will not solve the problem.

Mr. Hayes suggests we should crush these evil people and give them reason to fear. I would agree – so let us work towards that end. Abridging the law-abiding does not achieve this; enabling the law-abiding does.  Work to enable the law-abiding.

How to make progress

We will make better progress if we start from where we agree and work with open minds and open hearts, than to start from where we disagree and drive the wedge even further.

 

Talking Campus Carry

My friend Paul Martin participated in a panel discussion on campus carry sponsored by NEW Leadership Texas – part of the UT Center for Women and Gender Studies.

Paul shares his experience, which was positive and impactful.

The audience leaned left of center, although there were at least two license to carry (LTC) holders in the group.  They were very engaging and willing to listen to opposing viewpoints in a respectful way.  Likewise, the panelists were respectful of each other despite the significant difference of opinion among us.

One of his observations stood out to me:

Those who oppose concealed carry have little understanding of the licensing process or the training curriculum. Students seemed surprised to learn that non-violent dispute resolution is a statutorily mandated curriculum requirement. There seemed to be some belief that 18 year olds can obtain a LTC (minimum age is 21, unless the applicant is active duty military or veteran).

Take that for what you will.

Still, Paul has a greater message:

We need to be taking these people to the gun range to let them experience it first hand. Some of the participants who visited with me after the event said that they were generally supportive of concealed carry but had some reservations – and these included people who expressed left of center political leanings. I took that as a good sign. But there are others who were indicated they were agnostic on the issue until they attended the event. We need to be doing a better job of inviting people who may not be “pro-gun” to the range in an effort to encourage people to have a better understanding of how guns work.

Bottom line: it’s about education. We can tell they don’t know, but chastising folks for their ignorance only serves to drive the wedge further, the strengthen alienation.

There was a time in American politics when we would “reach across the aisle”. Unfortunately today’s political climate seems to only want to yell, spit, and throw punches across the aisle.

If you’re willing to listen, I’m willing to teach. If you’re accepting of education, I’m happy to help. We can work together to have greater understanding, and that will yield better things; because allowing ignorance to rule and proceeding through life with ignorant zealotry, does no good for you or the world.