Archive for April, 2013

MAGPUL Magazines Leave Colorado

Posted in Colorado, Firearms with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2013 by blackshepherd
English: Great Seal of the State of Colorado

English: Great Seal of the State of Colorado (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Magpul posted on their Facebook page that they are now making their magazines outside of Colorado for the first time. I am glad that Magpul followed through on their promise to leave Colorado in the face of reactionary restrictions on law-abiding citizens. I hope the loss of this great company will be a wake-up call to the anti-gun legislators in the Colorado State legislature. It will probably not.

Keep in mind that Magpul is a company that has solidly supported the military, law enforcement, and American firearms owners from its inception. It continued to support Coloradans with the “Boulder Airlift.” A program to get 30-round magazines into the hands of Colorado residents prior to the magazine capacity restrictions going into effect. Now they are voting with their feet and wallet in order to continue supporting the Second Amendment. This is an American Company that makes great kit for good people. But not in Colorado anymore.

There are a lot of angry Colorado residents outside of the Denver area. Many are baffled as to how these restrictions were even entertained, much less passed, in a state with the individualism and libertarianism that Colorado used to embody. Now jobs and money are leaving the state. The 2014 elections here are going to be interesting.

Check out the Magpul website if only for the great photos and quotes:

Gun Control Debate Part One: Where is your militia?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 28, 2013 by blackshepherd

In the following posts I have highlighted typical arguments from gun-control advocates in green text. I did not make these up, they are verbatim from personal conversations or cut and pasted from internet comments.What I believe to be reasonable responses to these arguments are below them. In light of what I have written so far this will probably become at least a five part series.

Please feel free to point out errors in my logic or disagreements with my conclusions. I want to emphasize throughout that education is the cure to ignorance. The only evil in ignorance is not rectifying it. If anything that I write strikes up some cognitive dissonance please look inward and find the source of discomfort. These are your birthrights people, learn what they mean.


So you’ve got “Second Amendment” rights? Where’s the rest of your militia?

The right to bear arms is predicated on the necessity of a well-regulated militia.  We keep arms in a well-regulated militia i.e. law enforcement, and the National Guard.

Let’s start with the actual text of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Much debate about the meaning of the amendment seems to derive from the comma following the first clause. I will refer to the Supreme Court decision in the District of Columbia v. Heller available here: 

“The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. Pp. 2–22.

(b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederal-ists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

If you would like to argue the academic faculties and research capabilities of the Supreme Court that is your prerogative. However, I think it is fairly straightforward. The 2008 Heller v. Washington DC decision reaffirmed that the right to bear arms was an individual right. The 2010 McDonald v. Chicago decision reaffirmed that decision and made clear that it applies to every state, every city and every town in the United States. The militia refers to every citizen of the United States of America. Not the National Guard, not the Reserves, not any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.

So there you go, fairly straightforward.

When the Constitution was written there were only one-shot guns and rifles with a three-minute time to reload.

The authors of the Constitution had no inkling of the possibilities of advanced weaponry such as automatic weapons and multiple round magazines.

To limit the Second Amendment to muzzle-loading weapons would be the equivalent of limiting the First Amendment to writings produced by quill pens and hand-cranked printing presses. No internet, television, newspapers, radio or any other form of mass communication would be protected. By all means neo-Luddites, pull your soapbox out onto the street corner and start spreading the word.  It is clear that the Bill of Rights applies to modern technologies.

In addition the premises of this argument are faulty. The great majority of volunteers involved in the American Revolution were armed with weapons which were the cutting edge of technology. The guns were often superior to what the British regulars were armed with. They were desperately short of bayonets which did turn the tide in several battles, especially early in the revolution. However, if you think it took a man whose livelihood or life depended on his weapons three minutes to load his rifle then you need to do some additional research.

I suggest starting here:

Anyway, since when is the Constitution written in stone? The Constitution has been changed dozens of times since 1787. They call those things at the end “amendments” for a reason. We’ve made changes in the right to vote, the right to own slaves, the right to buy and sell alcohol.

If, as gun control advocates claim, gun control laws really do control guns and save lives, there is nothing to prevent repealing the Second Amendment, any more than there was anything to prevent repealing the Eighteenth Amendment that created Prohibition.

If one truly believes that gun ownership is evil, your only ethical course of action is to remove the 2nd amendment altogether. And there is a reason that altering amendments is very, very difficult to do. But hey, if the vast majority of Americans believe as you claim then you should have no problem voting out the 2nd amendment. Good luck! In the meantime stop trying to legislate away the rights you don’t care for in a piecemeal manner.

You can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.

 You have the right to practice your religion, but not if your religion involves human sacrifice. You have the right to free speech, but you can still be prosecuted for incitement or conspiracy, and you can be sued for libel.

What they are trying to say is: All rights come with responsibilities and limitations.

They are correct, every right is subject to limitation when it begins to threaten others, and the Supreme Court has affirmed that even though there is an individual right to gun ownership, the government can put reasonable restrictions on that right.

Again from Heller:

“(f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpre­tation. Neither United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553, nor Presser v. Illinois, 116 U. S. 252, 264–265, refutes the individual-rights interpretation. United States v. Miller, 307 U. S. 174, does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes, but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia, i.e., those in common use for lawful purposes. Pp. 47–54.

        Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example, con­cealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues. The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of fire­arms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.”

So, the argument begins to become, “what are reasonable restrictions on arms?”

To be explored in the next section.



Gun Control Debate: Intro

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2013 by blackshepherd

I am writing the following as a response to the current media and political climate that is breathlessly demanding a “reasonable debate,” about” common sense,” restrictions on firearms. Frankly, I am tired of the ignorance, fear, and outright cupidity that seems to pervade the current discussion. The problem has become that I am unable to find anyone to have a reasonable or common sense conversation with. Many of my associates already agree with my stance on weapons and the role of the armed citizen within a republic. Many others, that may find themselves on the fence, have been brought around to my way of thinking with simple conversation and a few trips to the firing range. I do not know anyone that is firmly anti-gun or that even seems to agree with many of the current gun restrictions that are being debated at the federal and state level.

If one takes to the internet they are quickly beset with name calling and message board, one-line, shouting matches. Many of these un-reasonable arguments are fraught with fear, misinformation, and downright ignorance. As a result I have tried to compile as many firearms related arguments as I can and discuss them in reasonable manner i.e using reason. I have attempted to avoid statistics on the whole. Many statistics are quoted on both sides of the gun control discussion. The result is typically an argument about the methods of information collection, processing or analysis. I am not a statistician so I am staying away from numbers. I want to have a clear discussion in simple language about an issue central to all Americans. The result is an attempt to better clarify my own thinking, educate and elevate the discussion, and maybe learn something in the process. Hopefully, some will realize that they need to learn more about the subject to justify their opinions and political leanings. To that end I will extend an open invitation to anyone that is willing to learn. See the “Training,” tab of this blog.

Right at the outset I want to make my own opinion known. As a professional, I have spent the largest portion of my adult life earning my living with firearms. I have never shot an IPSC, IDPA, or three-gun match. However, I have repeatedly bet my life on my training and proficiency with firearms. More importantly, I have bet my life on the training and proficiency of the men around me and in turn taken responsibility for their safety. I believe that guns are not talismans, totems, or sacred objects. They are weapons made by mankind for the purpose of serving mankind. As such they are imbued with no will or thought. Firearms are neither good nor evil; they are as good or evil as the intentions of the people that wield them. At worst they are tools of oppression, totalitarianism, destruction and murder. At best they are tools of liberation, freedom, equality, and defense of the innocent.

For modern man firearms are a measure of defensive ability previously known only to the skilled warrior classes of the pre-industrial age. The right gun with the right training can negate disparities in size, strength, age, sex and numbers. This equalization of force is the ultimate in egalitarianism, feminism, and libertarianism.

Read on in future posts to explore the counter-arguments and responses to them…

Common Sense

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2013 by blackshepherd

I don’t know who writes the talking points in Washington D. C. but they must be getting paid well. One cannot open a newspaper, traverse the internet, or turn on a television without hearing a politician or lobbyist using the phrase “common sense,” in reference to some aspect of proposed gun control legislation.

Well, as my grandmother always says, “Common sense ain’t that common.” Here are a few things that common sense dictates to me:

Criminals don’t do background checks; neither do crazy people.

Criminals and crazy people don’t care if they are breaking the law because they are either criminals or crazy.

The law-abiding are just that, law-abiding, leave us alone.

If you think that peaceful citizen’s guns are dangerous to you- you are either a criminal, crazy, or possibly a politician.

If you are a criminal, crazy, or a politician, we hope citizen’s guns do give you pause.

If you work in the entertainment industry no one cares what you think. Shut up and make us laugh clown. Seriously, I don’t take life advice from court jesters.

If someone is broke from buying guns and ammo then they are not the ones that criminals want to rob.

Your opinion has no effect on natural rights, take it elsewhere.

Your emotions have no effect on natural rights; tell it to someone who gets paid to hear it.

A decision based on emotion is not a decision; it is a reaction.

If you are old, disabled, or a woman you do not win physical fights with the people that commit crimes; get a gun and learn how to use it.

If you are a man, you are responsible for all of the people listed above; get a gun and learn how to use it.

Politicians and lobbyist that have never fired a gun have no business telling us about guns.

Politicians and lobbyist that have never had to defend themselves with a gun have no business telling us how to do so.

People with paid security, who have guns, have no business telling us about guns.

If you have a concealed carry permit for personal protection but do not believe that the great unwashed should, move to Europe.

If you claim to be a firearms expert but don’t know that magazines can be re-used;  Or think that a barrel shroud is the “shoulder thing that goes up;” you have no business calling yourself an expert.

If you don’t know the difference between semi-automatic and automatic weapons it is time to educate yourself.

If you think that a “clip” is any part of a modern firearm; educate yourself first, then consider having an opinion, or not.

If you think pissing yourself is rape avoidance, I pray that you never have to test the theory.

If you think that the “AR” in AR-15 stands for “assault rifle,” do some research.

If you think that an AR-15 is a bullet spraying, demon possessed, instant death machine; get thee to the range.

If you think you understand guns because you have seen a lot of movies you probably also think you can ride a horse, win a fist fight or fly an airplane for the same reason; go pay someone to train you.

If you think that they were called “Minutemen” because that is how long it took to them to load their rifles; go read a goddamn book.

The Second Amendment is not about hunting. The American Revolutionaries and framers of the Constitution had just defeated the might of the British Empire; they were not worried about being tyrannized by herds of whitetail deer.

If you think that the government has your best interest at heart; go talk to a combat veteran

In fact, if you have never talked to a combat veteran; talk to a combat veteran

If you think that the government cannot break down in an instant; talk to someone that was in New Orleans when Katrina hit.

If you think that the US government will not tyrannize citizens, talk to the ancestors of the Five Civilized Tribes, or the Bonus Army; talk to the Nisei, or the Freedom Marchers.

Other people are keeping you safe; they have guns.

If you have never been involved in a physical assault; hug the nearest police officer, buy the nearest veteran a drink, and then shut the fuck up.

Anti-gun proponents seem to be either stupid or lying, the last time that I checked the Ivy League was not graduating a lot of stupid people; draw your own conclusions.

Politicians of any stripe have no business telling us what we do or do not “need” in relation to anything; fuck off!