NICS sleight of hand

Pretty much every year, the anti-gun lobby crows about how many firearms sales were denied due to rejected NICS checks.

Evidently last year, there were a record number of denials (conveniently commensurate with the record number of checks conducted) so of course they’ve got to make hay about it.  From “Everytown for Gun Safety Banning” (no link from me):

According to FBI data obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by Everytown for Gun Safety, the background check system blocked over 300,000 illegal firearm salesin 2020 — 42% of those to people with felony convictions. This represents the highest number of annual denials ever and almost double the nearly 169,000 denials reported by the FBI in 2019.

Of course, they use this claim to try to push for more restrictions…but doesn’t that mean the system as it exists is working? It’s denying all those criminals access to guns isn’t it?

What’s more, when they filled out the ATF Form 4473 to buy the gun, they had to have lied on the form because it specifically asks if any of the disqualifying factors are true before the gun retailer ever submits the information to NICS. So, the 300k criminals who tried to buy guns and were denied last year have all committed federal felonies, so they’re now off the street and no longer a threat to society, right?

Well…not so fast.

The most current analysis I could find was from 2017. In that year, there were 112k denials. Of those the ATF only investigated less than 13k. How many prosecutions were brought you may ask?

12.

Twelve.

two more than ten.

That’s a prosecution rate of .0107 percent. And that’s an improvement over past years.

I don’t even know how many of those resulted in a conviction, but the odds are the conviction rate was even smaller than that.

I’m wondering…why should we continue to pass ever more restrictive federal laws if they aren’t going to be enforced anyway? What’s the point?

Rhetorical question. They know that the laws only affect the law abiding. What they’re trying to do is make it more difficult for the law abiding to buy guns. The law abiding follow the laws (by definition) so it doesn’t matter whether the laws are actually enforced or not, the group they are targeting for disarmament will, in fact, be disarmed.

The leftists that support gun control are also absolutely aghast any time those poor misunderstood criminals are punished for breaking the laws that they pass so it’s obvious they don’t care if those laws are followed by criminals, they only care about laws to deter the law abiding.

Why? Because gun control isn’t about crime. Gun control isn’t even about guns. Gun control is about control. They can arrest and control (incarcerate) criminals any time they want. To control the law abiding, they have to find more creative means to either make them criminals, or to restrict their ability to resist.

Failing to actually enforce the laws that they pass is a feature, not a bug, of their policies.

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Holiday Traditions

Every holiday has it’s traditions. Some of them are widespread, some not so much.

Fireworks for New Years and the Fourth of July. Cookouts on Memorial Day. Gift giving for Christmas.

One of my family traditions is that I always make chicken and noodles from scratch, served over mashed potatoes with Thanksgiving dinner (as a side dish, we have Turkey too). That was a specialty of my grandmother, one of my favorite things to eat when I was young and I use her recipe.

Now that we have a new national holiday to be celebrated on June 19th, it only makes sense that some traditions should be established in recognition of it. It looks like the process has already begun:

The newly-official holiday of “Juneteenth” was celebrated in many communities with gunfire and mayhem:

Follow the above link for a list of the festivities.

Also there’s this one:

Chicago is so out of control with so many violent incidents happening, that this story has been mentioned in passing in their local media.

The video at that link could be disturbing. It’s violent.

To add flavor to that last one, some genius named Richard Taite went full retard on twitter by A) mistaking the Puerto Rican flag the murdered couple were flying with a confederate flag and then B) implying that you deserve to be murdered if you fly the wrong kind of flag.

He subsequently completely deleted his twitter account in shame, but his stupidity was screenshotted for posterity.

At any rate, I can hardly wait to see what exciting events are in store for next Juneteenth.

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Will you please share your private medical information with me?

I’m a little confused about something:

If you’ve been vaccinated against the Wuhan China Institute of Virology Virus, what difference does it make to you whether anyone else has been or not?

You can sit back and smile smugly as all those unvaccinated rubes get sick and suffer, secure in the fact that you’ve been immunized, right? So why do you care?

Tucker Carlson’s response to the intrusive request for personal medical information is a pretty good one. When asked by a “journalist” if he’d been vaccinated, Tucker replied: “When was the last time you had sex with your wife and in what position? We can trade intimate details.”

My response would be more along the lines of “Have you finished your gonorrhea treatments yet, that all cleared up now?” or something along those lines.

Just a more creative way to say “mind your own business”.

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Buying used guns began when the internet was invented…

Miguel over at The Gun Free Zone has a fisking of an article that’s really good, but there was one point I don’t think he explored thoroughly enough:

The catch is that the federal background check law is silent on sales brokered online and completed person-to-person when they are made by anyone other than a federally licensed gun dealer.

The law was created at a time when the expectation was that sellers typically knew the buyers personally. As a law-abiding citizen, a seller was essentially vouching that the other person was also a law-abiding citizen.

OK, history lesson boys and girls:

Waay back in prehistoric times before the internet was invented, they had these things called “Newspapers” that were published, in most places, every day. Even in rural communities they typically had a local paper even if it was only published once or twice a week.

Now these things were primarily used to share “news stories” so that the public could stay informed about what was going on in the world. Think about, say, Google news or the Daily Kos, only on paper.

But way in the back pages of the paper, usually just before the “funny pages” where they printed the cartoons for the day, there was a section called “classified ads”. If you had a piece of personal property to sell, you would pay the newspaper a few bucks and they’d put a listing of what you had for sale (usually along with your phone number) out there for public consumption.

Again, relating it to the Internet, think “Craigslist” or maybe even “eBay” but on paper.

Anyone who read the paper (and there were many people who only got the paper for the classified ads because many of us couldn’t afford to buy new things back then and buying used was the way to go) could call the number provided, set up a face to face meet, and pay cash money for whatever was for sale, no muss, no fuss.

So, contrary to the beliefs of the whipper-snapper in the story, it seems that buying used items (whether it be guns, or musical instruments, or cars, or washing machines) was actually a VERY common occurrence long before the internet was invented. In fact, I’d wager that methods for advertising such personal transactions existed before paper was invented. Humans have a unique ability to find creative ways to get things done with the resources at hand…that’s what drives innovation after all.

At any rate, the actual fact of the matter is, the drafters of the National Firearms Act of 1968 specifically exempted private individuals selling their personally owned property from the restrictions of the law for one primary reason:

At that time it was still politically expedient for government officials to at least pretend like they were still trying to work within the constraints placed upon them by the Constitution. To that end, they understood that the term describing the ability of a private citizen to sell, trade or otherwise transfer ownership of their own personal property to another private citizen without having to beg permission from the government first is actually “freedom”, not “a loophole”.

By the way, gun shows have been popular in the US since at least the 1950’s, so when the GCA of 1968 was being drafted, they were fully aware of the ramifications of declining to restrict private sales under the aegis of that law.

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Priorities

It’s important to have one’s priorities straight.

For example, you know about all those stories in the media about evil white supremacists attacking Asians and Jews, and rioting in the cities, burning and looting, taking over entire blocks of some cities. Rampant crime in major cities obviously being perpetrated by members of the Three Percenters, and the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers and the Patriot Guard Riders right?

Don’t worry, the Biden Administration is on it.

“Racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (principally those who promote the superiority of the white race) and militia violent extremists are assessed as presenting the most persistent and lethal threats,” the strategy says.

Yup, white supremacy is the worst threat this country is facing right now.

And the weaponization of the federal government against patriotic Americans continues apace.

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Revelations

I haven’t posted in a few days…I was actually out of town.

My Aunt Ann passed away on the 3rd and I went home for her funeral. I’ve actually lived in my current location for much longer than I lived in Indiana where I grew up, but I still consider myself a Hoosier at heart and consider central Indiana home.

Anyway, I went home for my Aunt Ann’s funeral. She was 83, a good god-fearing woman, a schoolteacher, wife of 61 years and mother of four. She had a rough last year so it’s good that she’s at peace and with God. Uncle Bill, her husband and my Dad’s brother, is also not doing well and I fear he won’t be long behind her. My Dad had 9 siblings, of which only 4 remain.

At any rate, while at the funeral, I found out a couple of things about my Dad that I thought I’d mention for posterity.

First, during the funeral, my Mom spoke. She related how, as a young college student at Marion College (now called Virginia Wesleyan University), her roommate and best friend Ann had invited her to go home to Sheridan with her over a weekend. Once they got there, Ann had a date with her boyfriend Bill, Ann didn’t want to leave Mom out, so she told her that Bill had a brother and asked my Mom if she’d be willing to go with Bill’s brother as her date.

Mom said she’d never been on a blind date before so she was a bit reluctant but, for her friend, she agreed. That’s where she met Ray, my father. If it hadn’t been for Aunt Ann, I’d have never existed. I owe her my life and I never even knew it.

To be fair, I’m sure at some point or another I’d heard that story before, but I hadn’t remembered it. I’m glad for the reminder.

The other thing I found out just by accident. I remember my Dad having a private pilot’s license when I was young. A few times, Dad would rent a little Cessna or Piper from the local grass strip airport and we’d fly around and look at the county with a bird’s eye view. I always thought that was the coolest thing. It eventually got too expensive and he let his license lapse, but those are some good memories.

What I didn’t know, and what I found out, is that my Dad had actually gotten his pilot’s license while he was in high school. He and a friend, right after high school, went in together and bought a small plane that they hangered and flew out of the tiny Sheridan airport. Mom said that after they met, he would occasionally fly to Marion from Sheridan to meet with her and go on dates.

When he was drafted into the army in 1956, he sold his interest in the plane and he and Mom got married. He still flew enough to keep his license active up until the early 1970’s, but I never knew he’d started so young or owned (half) a plane.

I know they’re not earth shattering discoveries or anything like that, but they’re just little tidbits that bring my Father’s life just a little bit more in focus. He wasn’t one to talk much about himself so although I know the broad strokes of his life, it’s the little details that are missing so when I get some of those from someone else, it fills in a little blank spot and brings him just a bit more to life for me. These are the kinds of little details that, when Mom and I are talking about him, don’t normally come out unless something specific in the conversation sparks the memory.

I need to have more conversations like that with her. If I find out any more little tidbits, I’ll write them here as well so hopefully, these stories won’t all be lost to time.

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It’s no one’s “Democracy”

Robert Stacy McCain asks “Who’s Democracy is this” in a post that links to his piece on the subject in The American Spectator.

My answer is “it’s no one’s democracy”.

Because it’s not a democracy at all.

Our form of government is a Constitutional Republic. The founders considered democracy as a form of government when determining the form ours would take and soundly (and correctly) rejected it. Mob Rule is hardly a recipe for efficient and effective governance.

“Fifty-one percent of a nation can establish a totalitarian regime, suppress minorities and still remain democratic.”
–Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn

A Republic is based on the rule of law, not on the rule of the mob.

The fact that the US is not a democracy is evidenced clearly in the Constitution itself.

The only members of the federal government who were, as designed in the Constitution, directly elected by the people are members of the House of Representatives. Each representative represents a relatively equal sized portion of the population as determined by the census and the establishment of the congressional districts in the states and directly elected by the residents of that district.

The House of Representatives very name describes it’s purpose. It is The People’s House and is there to represent the people.

The Senate was originally intended to represent the interests of the state governments. This is why each state has two senators, regardless of size. As individual, sovereign states, each state government was considered to be of equal importance and therefore was given an equal say in the federal government. Senators were originally chosen by the legislatures of the states.

In my humble opinion, the 17th Amendment which institutionalized direct election of Senators by the people was the second biggest mistake ever included in the supreme law of the land. The biggest mistake was the 18th Amendment which was subsequently repealed, so the 17th is the biggest mistake that is still operable. By approving the 17th Amendment, the state governments basically surrendered any influence they had in the federal government to the whims of the masses…but I digress.

The President is not elected by the people, the President is elected by the state governments. The electors who make up the electoral college are selected by the state legislatures, not directly elected by the people. The Presidential election is, by nature, essentially an advisory election, the only thing that commits the state legislatures to selecting electors based on the outcome of the popular vote is the law of the specific state. If any state passed laws allowing them to completely disregard the popular vote and select presidential electors by picking names out of the phone book*, or through a Ouija board, or just choosing whoever they darn well please, that would be perfectly constitutional.

The problem is that the there are no states who’s laws allow for such. Each state has it’s own set of laws that determine how the Presidential election is to be conducted in that state, but they are all based on the popular vote. When, as was the case in 2020, several of the states just arbitrarily ignore their own laws in a bald-faced attempt to change the outcome that was probable were the election to be held in accordance with the laws, that is a subversion of our Republican government who’s primary principle is the Rule of Law.

Insisting that the laws be upheld and voiding the outcome of elections that were held in violation of those laws may very well be a subversion of democracy, but our system of government is NOT a democracy. Such insistence for the sovereignty of the rule of law is absolutely, 100% supportive of our Republic.

*For my younger readers, a phone book is a pre-internet, paper volume published annually by the local telephone company that listed the addresses and phone numbers of everyone in the locality with a telephone who didn’t specifically request an “unlisted” number.

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Does the Media ever get anything right?

Rhetorical question. The media is very good at their job when you actually realize what their job is. It’s not to inform you, that’s for sure. It’s to steer you. To direct you. To push you. To Propagandize you.

That’s why we repeatedly, over and over and over again, find them pushing stories that are patently false.

Thus began a major controversial narrative in June of last year as the media and democrats decried how the U.S. Park Police cleared protestors from Lafayette Park shortly before President Trump walked to St. John’s church. The media shouted that President Trump told park police to fire tear gas into the crowd and dispurse the protesters in any manner or method. However the report today shows President Trump had nothing to do with it. It was all lies, all of it.

The interesting thing is that we actually knew that immediately at the time. Everyone involved from the Attorney General, the the Park Police, to the Capital Police told us that their clearing of the park had nothing to do with Trump’s photo op.

But the media didn’t care about facts, or evidence or witness testimony; they had a narrative to push and that’s what they did, so every major news outlet ran with the LIE that the Bad Orange Man had heartlessly ordered the park to be cleared so that he could walk down to the church for a photo op.

Fake.News.

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And so it begins

Now that the panic has begun to subside, our overlords have successfully trained the majority of the population to just mindlessly obey when nonsensical edicts are issued, and they’ve satisfied themselves that local police officers are more than willing to act as their stormtroopers in enforcing the edicts upon those of us who aren’t sheep, they can start walking back some of the demonstrably and egregiously false “statistics” that gave them the cover for their operation.

A quarter of all deaths previously attributed to COVID-19 in Alameda County weren’t actually caused by the coronavirus, the Alameda County Public Health Department announced today.

Wow, what a shock.

And that number is still too high. Basically, this audit only discounted people who tested positive for the Wuhan Chinese Virus, but obviously died of something else. Anyone who was questionable is still included as a Kung Flu death.

A death can only be attributed to COVID-19 if the coroner or medical provider can show that the person died “as a direct result of COVID-19, with COVID-19 as a contributing cause of death, or in whom death caused by COVID-19 could not be ruled out.” [bold added – ed]

In other words, if we can’t say absolutely that they died of something else, it was a Wuhan China Virus death, even though we know that the testing procedure used was way too sensitive and resulted in an untold number of false positives, so some of the people who died of…say…the flu…but had a false positive test for the Wuhan China Virus, we’re going to say they died of the Virus.

Which may help explain why flu deaths were virtually nonexistent last year.

By the way…I was keeping track of “excess deaths” and was all set to write a post about it but I was waiting for year end numbers.

As of November, per the CDC death statistics, 2020 was on track to post about 75,000 “excess deaths” over what would normally be expected based on historical data and averages adjusted for population changes. But sometime between November and December, some 200,000 or so additional deaths were added to the numbers.

The CDC had been claiming that over 300,000 people had died of the Wuhan China Virus, but the “excess death” numbers didn’t bear this out and plenty of people were noticing. So they fixed it.

Where did all those death reports added between November and December come from? The CDC will claim they were delayed reports, but I’d sure like to see some data as to specifically where those numbers came from because it looks to me like they just bumped the numbers up arbitrarily to support their narrative.

I believe there were actually somewhere between 75,000 and 80,000 excess deaths last year. Most of the people who died of the Wuhan China Flu were already very old or very ill and would likely have died within a short time anyway. The rest of the excess deaths weren’t caused by the virus, they were caused by the ridiculous overblown reaction to it by the government and the media in the effort to extract the Orange Bad Man from the Presidency.

Domestic Violence deaths, suicide and people dying from otherwise treatable illnesses that they either couldn’t or wouldn’t get care for because of the Kung Flu hysteria.

I believe historians are going to view this time as a very dark period of American (and world) history.

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Captain Obvious strikes again

The Economist tells us something that we should already understand:

It makes the point that hunters and their money pays for conservation, provides meat to local communities, and provides an economic incentive to stop poaching and overgrazing.

It is a sad statement on our educational system that so many people are so oblivious to common sense principles of basic economics and human nature.

Let’s see: I’m really poor. Starving and living in a mud hut poor. There is a highly desirable resource nearby that I can harvest and sell for lots of money…money that I NEED to feed, shelter and clothe my family.

Everyone keeps telling me that I can’t harvest that resource because it’s endangered, but if I do nothing, my family is going to go hungry…what do I do? I harvest the resource in secret with no plan to replenish it and take my chances.

And then everyone wonders why the resource is dwindling.

What happens if the “powers that be” make harvesting the resource legal and allow us to charge lots of money for the privilege? Rich people come from all around, pay us lots of money to guide them and feed them and house them and manage their hunts and, as a result, there is a huge incentive for us to manage the resource carefully so it lasts for future harvests.

And, as if by magic, the resource begins to rebound and is no longer declining in numbers.

Wonder how that could have possibly happened?

This is not a slam on the blog I linked to which was my source for the story, I’m sure they understand these principles as well as I do and were only trying to draw attention to them. My issue is with the seemingly endless supply of do-gooders who can’t grok basic common sense concepts about how the world really works and so continue to do untold damage.

It reminds me of a line from the lyrics of an old Johnathan Edwards song “Sunshine”:

“He can’t run his own life, I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine”

They have no idea how the world works but they think they should be able to tell everyone how to run it. Even when their methods are proven not to work, and other “unapproved” methods reach the result they’ve been claiming to want all along, they’ll gnash their teeth and rend their clothes that we’re not following their demonstrably ineffectual mandates.

The interesting thing about the left is that, even though they claim to be all about outcomes, they don’t seem to care very much when their policies don’t result in the outcomes they claim to want. And when policies espoused by the right (or, really anyone other than themselves) prove to work better, they still rail against and oppose them.

Because they aren’t really concerned about outcomes. In fact, they’d prefer if the problems they rail against are never resolved, because the existence of the problem can be leveraged into control…and that’s what it’s really about.

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