Archive for the ‘Gun Rights’ Category
John Tierney, a politician from Massachusetts, is introducing a bill that would require all firearm to be equipped with technology that prevents them from being used by anybody besides its owner. What makes this case interesting isn’t the legislation but Mr. Tierney’s justification:
A House Democrat inspired by the last James Bond movie has offered legislation to produce handguns with “personalization technology.”
The idea is to produce guns that can only be used by the gun’s owners. Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) cited the latest James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” as inspiration for the bill.
Technology appearing in movies is now real? Awesome!
Seriously, my life is going to be so much better with a giant walking robot!
Reporters from The Daily Mail demonstrated, what they thought to be, the danger 3D printed firearms pose to society at large:
The Mail On Sunday today exposes the massive international security risk posed by a gun that can be easily made with new 3D printers.
We built the weapon, which is capable of firing a live round, from blueprints available on the internet – then smuggled it on to a packed Eurostar train.
Two reporters passed completely unchallenged through strict airport-style security to carry the gun on to a London to Paris service in the weekend rush-hour, alongside hundreds of unsuspecting travellers.
The reaction you’re supposed to have is, “Oh. My. God. Violent psychopaths are going to board our trains and planes with 3D printed guns and kill us all! Quick, government, save us!”
The reaction you should have is, “So? New technological advances have always outpaced current security measures.”
What the reporters discovered was an inherit danger in 3D printed firearms, it was an inherit danger in relying on security measures to protect you from evildoers. We humans, being creative creatures, have a knack of bypassing every security measure we implement. Did you put a lock on your door? No problem, a determined burglar will merely pick it open. Did you put a very secure lock on your door? No problem, a determined burglar will kick in one of your basement windows. Did you install a security system that automatically alerts the police if somebody enters your home? No problem, a burglar can be in and out before the police have a chance to respond.
We see this with airport security. Violent criminals have tried all manners of devious methods to bypass airport security. Metal detectors are ineffective at finding explosives. Bag checks can work if explosives are in a bag but fail if the explosives are concealed in a shoe. Body scanners can work to see concealed weapons, unless that weapon is smuggled in a body cavity.
Do 3D printed firearms really pose a great threat to passengers of trains and planes? Potentially, but not because the device can bypass security at gates. The threat comes from the centralized security models usually implemented on mass transit systems. Once you’re beyond the gate you’re almost entirely defenseless because it’s assumed that the train is a secured because passengers were required to go through the designated security checkpoint. In reality a clever person can either bypass those checkpoints or smuggle weapons through them.
There is no such thing as a “secured area.” Whatever mechanisms are used to secure the “secured area” can be bypasses, which will make that “secured area” and “unsecured area.” The only real option when it comes to implementing security is to decentralize is. Relying on a security checkpoint is akin to relying on police protection. Both systems have a handful of major failure points. If I can get a weapon beyond a security checkpoint I will likely enjoy free reign. So long as I can commit my crime before the police arrive I have a good chance of escaping, or at least completing my intended goal.
Being able to smuggle a 3D printed gun past security is only a threat because the people in the “secured area” are almost entirely defenseless.
It finally happened, the state finally made it’s move to suppress 3D printable firearms:
On Thursday, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson received a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance demanding that he take down the online blueprints for the 3D-printable “Liberator” handgun that his group released Monday, along with nine other 3D-printable firearms components hosted on the group’s website Defcad.org, while it reviews the files for compliance with export control laws for weapons known as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, or ITAR. By uploading the weapons files to the Internet and allowing them to be downloaded abroad, the letter implies Wilson’s high-tech gun group may have violated those export controls.
“Until the Department provides Defense Distributed with final [commodity jurisdiction] determinations, Defense Distributed should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled,” reads the letter, referring to a list of ten CAD files hosted on Defcad that include the 3D-printable gun, silencers, sights and other pieces. “This means that all data should be removed from public acces immediately. Defense Distributed should review the remainder of the data made public on its website to determine whether any other data may be similarly controlled and proceed according to ITAR requirements.”
I think we all knew this was coming. To tell the truth I hoped it would come. This was the overt act of censorship that was needed kick the Streisand effect into action and, in so doing, ensure that the 3D printer models created and hosted by Defense Distributed will never die. As it stands the number of seeds for the Defense Distributed files has jumped to several hundred. I’ve even found a Tor hidden service that is hosting the files (you need to use the Tor Browser Bundle to access that link). As I’ve heard several people say, you can’t stop the signal.
As I stated in my post explaining methods to render the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) irrelevant, the need for anonymity and strong encryption is greater today than ever. The state is trying to spy on our communications and censor material posted online. While some may wish to beg the state to allow information to flow freely we know they aren’t going to comply. Because of their desire to control information we must bypass their ability to detect and censor information they find objectionable.
When the state makes attempts like this to censor information it allows us to test our ability to preserve said information. As it stands more people have downloaded the 3D printer models provided by Defense Distributed than would have if the state hadn’t made an effort to censor the models. In fact I’ve had several friends who were uninterested in 3D printed guns ask if I knew where to get the files. Now that the files have been declared verboten everybody wants a copy. The state really shot themselves in the foot with this one.
As I pondered the outcome of Kokesh’s armed march on Washington DC I assumed that if violence was to break out it would happen because the state initiated it. As it turns out Washington DC’s police chief may prove me right:
D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier was firm in her response. “If you’re coming here to protest government policy, great,” she told NewsChannel 8 yesterday. “If you’re coming here to break the law, we’ll take action.” She added, “There’s a pretty good chance we’ll meet them on the D.C. side of the bridge.” Lanier better hold true to her admonition because nothing good will come of this.
In other words they won’t allow anybody with guns into Washington DC and if anybody with a gun tries to enter Washington DC the police will send people with guns to stop them. That sounds rather hypocritical now that I think about it.
Since their support of the Manchin-Toomey Amendment I’ve been questioning whether or not the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is still supporting gun rights or has finally succumbed to The One Ring’s corrupting power. A post by Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned leads me to believe the latter:
We noticed SAF/CCRBKA’s booth on the NRA floor, but decided not to stop. But Think Progress did, and noticed they were handing out literature taking NRA to task over Manchin-Toomey:
But despite the bill’s (perhaps temporary) defeat in the Senate, CCRKBA doesn’t appear to be backing down — The Gun Mag, a Second Amendment Foundation publication, published an “NRA Meeting Special Issue” whose lead article takes apart the NRA’s line on Manchin-Toomey.
Many of the comments question the claim as it was posted on Think Progress. On the other hand neither the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) or SAF have refuted the claim.
It’s not wise for gun owners to support an organization that is trying to support gun control legislation and it’s even more unwise to support an organization that is trying to resurrect gun control legislation that has been put to rest. Because the charges against the CCRKBA and SAF are so severe and their previous behavior of supporting the Manchin-Toomey Amendment put their position into question I must hereby withdraw my support. If a representative of either organization is willing to come forth and refute the claim made by Think Progress I will reconsider but I will not give support to an organization that is trying to sell people down the river.
A couple of people have asked me about my thoughts on Adam Kokesh’s planned march in Washington DC. What makes the march worthy of conversation is that it will involve individuals marching with loaded rifles in spite of Washington DC’s prohibition against such activities.
If it was anybody but Kokesh was organizing the march I would expect an convenient excuse to cancel the event to be made shortly before it was scheduled to begin. While I’m not the biggest Adam Kokesh fan due to his abrasive nature he has proven himself willing to spit in the face of the law, which makes this event a real possibility in my mind. With that said, it sounds like the event does have a cop out, Kokesh mentions that there needs to be 1,000 participants for the event to occur. This makes sense since acts of civil disobedience require a mass of people large enough to discourage the police from moving in on the crowd.
If the event actually occurs and there are enough participants to discourage the police from interfering I think this march will go down without incident. History demonstrates that mass acts of civil disobedience, if uninterrupted by agents of the state, usually go down peacefully. However I question whether or not the event will be allowed to occur. Who’s to say that Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) won’t arrest the primary organizers of this event a few days before it’s scheduled to begin? The FBI has a history of pulling such stunts. If the FBI doesn’t pull such shenanigans and the event does occur I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more agent provocateurs were inserted into the group specifically to cause trouble. Again such tactics aren’t unprecedented. It will be important for the organizers of this event to warn participants to immediately disassociate themselves with anybody in the crowd trying to instigate violence and to actively intervene in attempted acts of violence. There are many ways for this event to be prevented from happening or twisted into something ugly if it does happen but that’s a potential risk of any acts of mass civil disobedience.
Many gun rights activists have expressed concern about the image that this kind of event could create but that’s not really a concern of mine. No matter what we do as gun owners the advocates of gun control will hate us. In the eyes of the most zealous and outspoken gun control advocates we’re vicious monsters who want nothing more than to murder every wholesome person in the world. If a bunch of gun owners perform an armed march on Washington DC the gun control advocates will scream bloody murder. If gun owners don’t perform an armed march on Washington DC the gun control advocates will still scream bloody murder. We can’t win with them so we shouldn’t worry ourselves with what they think.
I’ve also heard several gun rights activists express the fact that it will only takes one person to do something stupid for this event to turn into a bloodbath. To that I can only ask, do we really believe what we preach about gun rights? Do we not believe that an armed society is a polite society? Do we not believe that an increased presence of armed individuals increases the cost of performing violent and therefore discourages such behavior? I do believe those things and therefore am not very concerned about one of our own doing something stupid, at least not stupid enough to start a firefight. The agent provocateur risk springs to mind when fellow gun rights activists mention the risk of one of our own doing something stupid but that risk can also be mitigated as I explained above.
I have no issue with the idea of the event itself. I’m a proponent of civil disobedience because it’s the only tactic that has proven to be effective at enacting meaningful political change in this country. If the march happens it will send a powerful and simple message to anybody watching: we the people are not afraid of the state. The point of civil disobedience is to demonstrate to observers that the state’s laws are meaningless unless people are willing to obey them. An armed march on Washington DC may be the act necessary to demonstrate the state’s inability to regulate firearms or it may not. Either way it’ll be interesting to see what comes of this event. I wish the participants the best of luck and encourage them to follow examples set by previous mass civil disobedience events by remaining entirely nonviolent.
Once again reality has proven harsh to the advocates of gun control that have been warning us that blood will run through the streets whenever firearm laws are repealed or liberalized. As it turns out gun homicides are down 49% since their peek in 1993:
National rates of gun homicide and other violent gun crimes are strikingly lower now than during their peak in the mid-1990s, paralleling a general decline in violent crime, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data. Beneath the long-term trend, though, are big differences by decade: Violence plunged through the 1990s, but has declined less dramatically since 2000.
Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.
As Robert Heinlein wrote in Beyond This Horizon, “An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” Advocates of gun control believe that the only way to reduce violence in society is to give the state a monopoly on gun ownership. Somebody holding a less authoritarian view on society would point out that centralizing power has, historically, be ineffective at reducing violence. Decentralizing power, on the other hand, has been far more effective at reducing violence. Even the year with the highest homicide rate in the United States can’t compare to the millions upon millions killed in countries where power is or was centralized.
Nobody should be surprised by this news. Deductive logic would lead one to understand that having more armed people in a society increases the overall cost of initiating violence. Much like predatory animals that prey on the weak and sickly, violent people prefer to prey on the unarmed.
Via Borepatch I came across an excellent article regarding gun rights by Eric S. Raymond. In the article he summed up the reason gun rights activists are unwilling to cooperate with gun control schemes:
Now comes the news that the head of the Department of Homeland Security officially thanked the Governor of Missuri for violating state law by illegally passing to the DHS Missouri’s list of concealed-carry permit holders. The Governor then lied about his actions.
The Feds, meanwhile, continue to illegally retain transfer records from federally licensed firearms dealers past the statutory time limit, among several other continuing violations of a 1986 law forbidding the establishment of a national gun registry.
The BATF also criminally violated its authorizing laws by transferring over 2000 firearms to Mexican drug gangs through illegal straw purchases (google “ATF gunwalking scandal”). Over 150 Mexican citizens and United States Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry were killed with these guns.
Meanwhile, following scandals about “drop guns” at the sites of police shootings, some big-city police forces (notably in LA and NYC) are strongly suspected of routinely using planted guns to frame suspects they can’t otherwise nail on firearms-possession charges.
Any trust that “gun control” will be administered with even minimal respect for civil rights is long gone, destroyed by the behavior of the enforcers themselves.
Why won’t those of us in the gun rights movement submit to background checks? Why won’t we agree to using gimped magazines? Why won’t we surrender our semi-automatic rifles? Because of the solution gun control advocates have chosen.
As I’ve state numerous times the primary failure of gun control is its reliance on statism. Gun control advocates want the state to pass and us its capacity for violent to enforce laws controlling or completely prohibiting non-state agents’ access to firearms. The state has proven itself to be a beast that cannot be trusted with any amount of power, especially when that power allows them to control civil liberties.
If gun control advocates were willing to seek nonviolent solutions to the issue of violence those of us in the gun rights community would likely lend a hand. Instead they have chosen to use a violent solution administered by an organization that has proven itself to be untrustworthy. A gun owner submitting to state control over guns would be akin to women submitting to abusive misogynist control over women’s rights. Nobody in their right mind would submit to an untrustworthy entity.
Yesterday I mentioned that Defense Distributed had announced the first handgun developed almost exclusive (the one exception is the nail that is used as a firing pin) on a 3D printer. Many people questioned if it would work or if it would explode into a million tiny plastic pieces, especially since the barrel was made of plastic. As it turns out the handgun worked pretty well:
On May 1st, Wilson assembled the 3D-printed pieces of his Liberator for the first time, and agreed to let a Forbes photographer take pictures of the unproven device. A day later, that gun was tested on a remote private shooting range an hour’s drive from Austin, Texas, whose exact location Wilson asked me not to reveal.
The verdict: it worked. The Liberator fired a standard .380 handgun round without visible damage, though it also misfired on another occasion when the firing pin failed to hit the primer cap in the loaded cartridge due a misalignment in the hammer body, resulting in an anti-climactic thunk.
Here’s a video of the test firing:
It’s obvious by looking at the gun and hearing about the failure to fire that the firearm is a prototype but, considering how quickly Mr. Wilson has been advancing the art of manufacturing firearms on 3D printers, this design will likely evolve very quickly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a reliable, albeit ugly, design capable of firing multiple rounds by the end of the year.
Although I expect every politician to lie I have admit that Obama has a knack for it. Read the following excerpt from a story about Obama’s recent trip to Mexico City:
President Obama vowed Thursday during a press conference in Mexico City that the White House would continue pushing for an expansion of background checks to cover firearms purchases online and at gun shows.
“Things happen somewhat slowly in Washington. But this was just the first round,” Obama said. “I believe we’ll eventually get that done. We’ll keep on trying.”
“Frankly, what I’m most moved by are the victims of gun violence not just in Mexico but back home,” Obama said.
Then read this post from last week. Now explain to me how Obama is moved by the victims of gun violence in Mexico when he is obstructing an investigation into an operation taken by his administration that involved giving guns to Mexican drug cartels. If Obama actually cared about the victims of gun violence I would think he would want the investigation to conclude successfully.
It’s pretty dickish to tell people you feel for their plight when you’re part of the problem they’re suffering under.