Sunday, September 27, 2009

Further down the spiral...

As though the situation for gun owners on the lower left coast weren't bad enough, now California's AB 962 will, barring an unlikely veto by Rudderless Arnie, impose draconian restrictions on handgun ammunition purchases by inmates of California. Sebastian opines that
...there will be more ammunition moving through Donner Pass than was moving on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the height of the Vietnam War.

I certainly hope so, but that doesn't change the underlying threat of laws like this.

I was riding in the car with Staghounds on the way up to National Gun Day, and we were talking about how clean highways were now compared to when we were little. A combination of P.R. campaigns and laws have made tossing trash out of your car something that is Just Not Done; beyond being illegal, it's actually frowned upon socially. As Staghounds, who is involved with the justice business, put it, littering may be subject to more social opprobrium than wife-beating, given the numbers of empty McDonald's bags seen on the shoulder of the road versus the number of hit spouses he sees. That sea change came about in less than half a lifetime.

And this, as he points out, is why these nuisance gun laws like AB 962 must be fought, and fought hard. By making gun ownership as big a hassle as possible, even without outright bans, fewer people own guns. When fewer people own guns, you have removed them from the day-to-day experience of most people ("Nobody I know voted for Nixon.") Once they are removed from most people's experience, further legislation and demonization is easy. For an extreme example, sit in a pub or cafe in England and discuss your shooting hobby or gun collection with a friend across the table and see how long it takes for a nervous patron within earshot to call the heat; parts of urban coastal America are already like that.

37 comments:

Lorimor said...

So true. So true. The overwhelming majority of Americans' knowledge comes through the mass media and we all know their feelings on the subject.

Top of the Chain said...

While attending the Gun Rights Policy Conference yesterday, Gene Hoffman, founder of Calguns asked those in attendance to contact their senators and congressmen urging them to contact the Governator to veto this.

Frank W. James said...

Eh...Tam: Regarding roadside litter. In my opinion it's worse NOW than it ever has been. My west place is on both sides of US 24 and for the 50 yards you would swear it was a landfill and the roadsides that I mow....Well, that's a hazard all to itself.

Roads are NOT cleaner now than they were even a few years ago.

All The Best,
Frank W. James

atlharp said...

What I want to know is why does everybody else have to do the heavy lifting for California? Why is it that gun owners there cannot stand up for themselves and present a compelling case within their own state for liberty? I understand about how this cancer can grow to other places, but why are they so disabled that they cannot handle this problem themselves? I know this sounds harsh, but these are fair questions.

arizonarifleman said...

atlharp: California has a large number of gun owners, and many organizations dedicated to protecting the right to keep and bear arms. Take, for example, the NRA Members' Councils of California, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, and others.

There's probably more gun owners in California than there are in most other states.

While most of the citizenry are not anti-gun, the politicians are. It's incredibly difficult for the gun owners to get their voice effectively heard in the legislature.

Regolith said...

Although I understand your point, it's probably not a good idea to link gun ownership to littering and wife beating...

captcha: somedr. What Somedude becomes when he graduates from Evil Medical School...

PQ said...

Couldn't agree more about the "demonization" of guns in a gun deprived society.
I live in Australia, and I am a keen hunter, target shooter and own a number of firearms. I have to jump through the Government hoop to keep and use all my guns, which I do, because I love my gun related hobbies.
I was recently on board an aircraft on a short hop flight (45mins) between cities and making conversation with my next seat passenger I mentioned that I was involved in training young boys and girls in shooting rifles at my gun club.
I may as well have admitted being a paedophile, This gent was shocked that I would be "showing youngsters how to kill!". This was no wild eyed fanatic, he was a well dressed business type, you can see thousands of his type on any aircraft, but the anti gun hysteria in Australia is all pervasive, at all levels of society.
We used to be a tough and self reliant people, and every home had a couple of rifles to keep the pot filled.
What the hell happened? Political Correctness, and unrelenting propaganda from those who would see all the peasants disarmed forever.

HTRN said...

Arizona Rifleman, California may have more gun owners than alot of states, but most of them? I kinda doubt it - Saw NICS query data for 1Q09, and there was 1 query for every 177 people in the state.. The only states that did worse(Query per capita) were Hawaii, NY, NJ, Maryland, Rhode Island and Taxachuessets - all of which are gun unfriendly. To put it perspective, Kentucky had a query for every 8 people, and Wyoming every 36..

RHT447 said...

+1 for Arizonarifleman. The problem is the population centers out here, particularly around LA and the greater San Francisco bay area, where the sheeple have been deprived of the day-to-day experience of life in general. Having nothing to compare to, they believe MSNBC, ABC, etc.

I live in a rural northern county. Every man, women, child, dog, cat, and cow could vote, and it still wouldn't be enough.

I have a recurring fantasy of the smoking tail fins of a North Korean missile (OK, a dud) sticking out of the ground in downtown San Fran, just to make the point.

TimP said...

As another Australian I just want to second PQ on this; guns are demonized pretty bad here. I'm pretty sure this is mostly since the '96 bans, so only a bit over a decade.

mikeb302000 said...

Wouldn't those "draconian laws" about ammunition directly interfere with the criminals' access to ammo? Why can you never accept that some of these gun control laws are designed to do just what they say, and are not part of a larger unspoken conspiracy?

And don't knock "urban coastal America." Without it where would you guys be?

Bram said...

I was just reflecting on some of our other ironies:

It's more acceptable to associate with Roman Polanski or Ted Kennedy than Michael Richards.

Plaxico Burress was sentenced to 2 years in prison for wounding himself with negligent discharge. Michael Vick gets the same for abusing dogs. Meanwhile Donté Stallworth actually kills a man and serves 24 days.

militant_marmot said...

Two things. Litter around here is a lot worse than it used to be. I live on a corner on the way to and from one of the only stores in my area. You would not believe how much stuff I have to pick up per week.
Went to lunch with some friends and starting talking guns and shooting. Neither of us can be considered quiet. Within five minutes we had about four or five more people gathered round talking with us. Going to the range on Sunday with the new friends! I love this town sometimes!

Tam said...

"Two things. Litter around here is a lot worse than it used to be."

Perhaps I should have specified "along interstates".

I drive I-74/I-275/I-75 every couple months, and the shoulders of the highway are pretty much free of visible litter from K-Town to Indy. I'm sure there's trash there, but it's sparse enough to be largely unnoticeable at 75mph. Conversely, I remember urban/suburban interstates in the '70s that were like garbage canyons.

staghounds said...

Mikeb302000

"And don't knock "urban coastal America." Without it where would you guys be?"

The beach?

karrde said...

mikeB: those laws would be as successful as the Prohibition was in keeping people from getting drunk.

Mind you, this is opinion on my part, and not fact.

But note the roaring success of Prohibition (Episode 1: alcohol...Episode 2: meth/crack/MJ...) in preventing people from gaining access to intoxicants.

staghounds said...

And in serious response,

"Wouldn't those "draconian laws" about ammunition directly interfere with the criminals' access to ammo?"

The burden of proof for restrictive legislation is on its proponents.

You may not know that for many years ammunition purchases were much more restricted than they are today. Those restrictions were repealed, and while in place didn't result in any change in crime at all. As far as I know, requiring identification for ammunition purposes didn't result in the solving of a single crime.

Just exactly what is supposed to happen with this law in place? How will it affect any actual problem? Is there even a problem?

I don't have the slightest idea. I'd be interested to know if any criminally used ammunition has ever been obtained by the using criminal in a way that would be altered by this expensive, cumbersome, and pointless requirements of this statute. I have only been a general jurisdiction prosecutor for twenty years or so, but I've never heard of any instance where this sort of system ever would have had impact.

As someone once said, how is the act of writing my name down somewhere as having bought a gun going to make anyone safer?

You have to understand, really understand, that this sort of law IS designed to do exactly what it does- make the commercial sale and purchase of ammunition more expensive and troublesome.

It also helps for the eventual registration/confiscation scheme. People who know their ammunition purchases are recorded will be just slightly less likely to fail to register the guns the ammunition fits, and any others they may have too.

And, finally, it's degrading and criminalising. Every time I want to buy a box of .22s, I have to prove who I am and be fingerprinted.

If California wanted to reduce crime and cost to citizens, it would require a thumbprint on every check and every pawn ticket.

It might help you to feel our pain to imagine a requirement like this for something that YOU use responsibly, but that other people don't. If this scheme were suggested for whiskey or gasoline, would you have the same response?

And finally, these laws are not part of a "larger unspoken conspiracy", only because conspiracy is an agreement to commit crime. They are part of a larger spoken, written, and solicited for combination of anti gun people, companies that profit from the legislation, and politicians/bureaucrats who see greater power in these laws.

These laws are planned and lobbied for very publicly. Spend a few hours with google and see how the groups interact. You might start with "ammunition accountability" or "Joyce foundation".

No secret- some of them want to disarm us because they think it's right, some because they think we should be more dependent on our kindly state parent, and some are willing to sell their technology by legally requiring it.

But don't pretend that it just pops up in the minds of legislators.

Cui bono?

Kevin said...

Wouldn't those "draconian laws" about ammunition directly interfere with the criminals' access to ammo? - mikeb

You mean like all those "draconian laws" about drugs "directly interfere with criminal access" to drugs?

Mikeb, the criminal demand for ammo is a tiny fraction of that of the lawful demand. Circumventing these laws to supply the criminal demand is trivial. And the criminals don't have any qualms about circumventing those laws (as you well know.)

Are you really this dense, or have you taken on the devil's advocate role? Or is it some combination of the two?

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree, based on my local situation. I'm seeing many more mainstream folks arming up. The local CWP instructors are booked solid, the amount of ammo/guns moving and our local IPSC/IDPA participation is growing. Now, this is in South Carolina, YMMV. IMHO, California is simply going to serve as a bad example for the free side of the nation. Sucks to be them.

Al T.

Tam said...

Al T.,

"I have to disagree, based on my local situation. I'm seeing many more mainstream folks arming up."

Yeah, here too. Staghounds was speaking generally.

With respect to gun laws, there are pretty much two Americas these days: (Most Of) The Northeast and Cali, with their ally, The Great State Of Chicago are headed in one direction, while flyover country is headed in the other.

mikeb302000 said...

Kevin asked me, "Are you really this dense,"

Actually Kev, I'm not dense at all. Are you really that nasty that you have to drop that line in your comment?

My point was that inconveniencing you lawful gun owners in buying ammo would be a small price to pay if it kept some criminals without bullets. I know about prohibition and that people get what they want regardless of the laws, but I also know that making it harder for bad guys to buy ammo makes a lot of sense.

Why would you be against something like that? Is it because you don't want to be inconvenienced, in which case you're selfish, or is it because you think it's the slippery slope which will eventually lead to total bans and confiscation, in which case your just paranoid? Take yer pick, Kev.

Anonymous said...

"Wouldn't those "draconian laws" about ammunition directly interfere with the criminals' access to ammo?"

Nope. From 1968 to 1986, everytime some one bought a box of .22lr, his name was written down in a book. This ammunition registration aided in zero prosecutions.

"Why can you never accept that some of these gun control laws are designed to do just what they say, and are not part of a larger unspoken conspiracy?"

Because the conspiracy is not unspoken, it is right out in the open for all to see.

My resistance to the conspiracy is also open and obvious. I will not comply.

"And don't knock "urban coastal America." Without it where would you guys be?"

Freer and wealthier.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

To mikeb:

As a voluntary (joyfully!!) exile from California, I can only say:

Where would we be without the coast? One HELL of a lot better off!!

Cap'n Chumbucket.

David said...

"Sucks to be them."

Yes. It does.

I live in a remote, conservative area of California. My state Congressman is also a conservative who pretty much votes the way I feel on almost all issues. In 25 years of living here there has been exactly one state election where the issues/politicians I voted "for" passed and the issues/politicians I voted against lost. That was our last special election where the state wanted to fix it's massive debt by inacting massive tax increases on us.

We, the calm, rational, conservative gun owners in the state of California actually probably outnumber the liberal, tree hugging, gun fearing idiots.

The problem is that the state legislature is so heavily gerrymandered that we have no chance of getting the morons who keep passing crap like this out of office.

LA and San Francisco while making up only about half the population of the state control a majority of the legislature. Unfortunately these clowns think their job is to meddle in our lives.

A few months ago when the state was shutting down because we didn't have a budget, what did our state legislature do? They spent days argueing and passing laws to:

1)create a commission to serve the marketing interests of the blueberry industry.
2)defines "honey" to mean the natural food product resulting from the harvest of nectar by honey bees,
3)adopts regulations establishing definitions and standards for 100-percent pomegranate juice.

Yep! No matter how bad you have heard that it is here in Kalifornia, you can pretty much bet that it is worse than what you are hearing.

arizonarifleman said...

HTRN: My apologies. My word choice was poor and I spoke without checking the actual values.

That said, while the per-capita rate may be less, what about the total number of gun owners? California's a big state.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of numbers of guns or gun owners, California is the bad example (or wake up call) for the rest of us to get busy. Cali gun owners have become a dis-enfranchised minority with no clout at the state level. The NRA works OK at a national level, but the various state level GrassRoots organizations are what's going to work.

Now we need to take the bad law in California and use it to spike a few fence sitters off their butts.

Al T.

zeeke42 said...

"With respect to gun laws, there are pretty much two Americas these days: (Most Of) The Northeast and Cali, with their ally, The Great State Of Chicago are headed in one direction, while flyover country is headed in the other."

Actually, there's been a huge spike in new gun owners here in Massachusetts too. Basic safety classes (a precondition of licensing for ownership here) are sold out weeks in advance. I've been trying to get in an instructor course, but they're sold out months in advance.

Laws are a mixed bag. The governor keeps proposing new laws, but we've held them off so far. GOAL has proposed a massive rewrite of the laws to simplify things for the law abiding and jack up penalties for real criminals. It's actually attracted about 10% of the MA House in co-sponsors and is coming up in committee soon.

staghounds said...

"My point was that inconveniencing you lawful gun owners in buying ammo would be a small price to pay if it kept some criminals without bullets."

Two answers to that. First, the nicer one:

Maybe- so explain how much inconvenience versus how much criminal without bulletness, so we can understand.

Requiring a 30 MPH maximum speed built into every car would save a lot of lives, but there's a lot of inconvenience there, too.

The less nice one:

Sure would. Just like

"inconveniencing you ni66ers in getting on and off the bus is a small price to pay if it kept down race riots."

" I also know that making it harder for bad guys to buy ammo makes a lot of sense."

It might. How many bad guys buy ammo at stores that don't require ID, or by mail? What in this statute prevents a wanted felon from buying ammunition, since there appears to be nothing that comes between between looking at his identification, getting his thumbprint, and handing him the bullets?

(That's why this is NOT like showing id to buy liquor- your eligibility is right there on the document, there's a connection between the requirement and the transaction. But once this is in place, that's the next step- an ammunition buyer eligibility card.)

"Why would you be against something like that? Is it because you don't want to be inconvenienced, in which case you're selfish,"

Yes, just like you are selfish for wanting to drive 50 when it would save thousands of lives if all cars could only go 30. Or for wanting to keep 70% of your income, when an extra 20% in taxes would save thousands of lives and educate millions of children.

"...or is it because you think it's the slippery slope which will eventually lead to total bans and confiscation, in which case your just paranoid?"

Kevin's place in the DSM is irrelevant, even hypochondriacs get cancer.

We KNOW it's only a step along the way, FFS the anti gun people say so right out loud- "This is a reasonable step", "This is all we can get right now", etc.

They don't even pretend that there is a point at which they will stop. Even Hitler at least said that every step was the last, not the first.

Again, try a thought experiment. Say you had to show ID to buy gasoline, beer, or go to an r rated movie- and have your name and purchase written down for the State to check up on when it liked. Explain to me how this tiny inconvenience would be just fine for "you" drivers, drinkers, and movie fans.

Anonymous said...

Sacramento already has this ammo law. I read a post somewhere that stated the reason why they are trying to pass this statewide.

Due to the law, Sacramento has caught almost 200 people with weapons they aren't allowed to have (probably most of them are felons) and they've prosecuted around 150.

I don't have the post at my fingertips so the numbers above are approximate.

Tam said...

"Due to the law, Sacramento has caught almost 200 people with weapons they aren't allowed to have (probably most of them are felons) and they've prosecuted around 150."

Really? I heard that they uncaught a million zillion.

Facts or GTFO.

Kristopher said...

Post the conviction numbers for firearms violations in that city. Betcha the number is near zero.

Gun control laws aren't about disarming felons, anon. They are about controlling us citizens.

Fortunately, we are winning ... especially if the Dems are scared to pass more such laws when in control of majorities in both houses.

And then start protecting second amendment rights at the federal level, and start punishing local pols for rights violations. We will drag CA Chicago, and the Bos-Wash corridor out of the Sullivan Age kicking and screaming.

We will continue until we roll back every last damned law on the books that doesn't involve directly controlling felons.

Just watch us, anon and MikeB. We'll do it. You WILL lose this one.

Linoge said...

And MikeB continues to rely on logical fallacies (in this case, a false dichotomy) to support his case... You would think that if he had a good argument, he would let it stand on its own, rather than tying a dead albatross about its neck.

Nothing new from the woman with the earrings, I suppose.

staghounds said...

I hate to say it, but he does have a pretty good argument.

"Sacramento has California's most comprehensive ammo-control program. In less than 20 months, it found that ammunition had been illegally purchased by 229 people, including 173 felons. The district attorney filed charges against 190, trial was set for 136 and all but eight pleaded guilty. Seized were 160 firearms, including seven assault weapons and eight explosive devices."

And, "In a 17-month period, L.A. police arrested 25 people; confiscated 20 weapons, including a machine gun; and seized more than 2,900 rounds of ammunition, according to Deputy Chief Charlie Beck."

It looks as though criminals are MUCH more clever in Los Angeles than in Sacramento.

"As a law-abiding citizen, staunch supporter of 2nd Amendment rights, a Little League coach who is required to have a thumbprint to coach and required to provide a thumbprint for a driver's license, I rise to support this bill," said new Assemblyman Steve Bradford (D-Gardena)."

It's more difficult to argue against it now. At least there's something to balance.

Typical, innit- even when the facts help them, our opponents rely on assertion, illogic, and emotion.

JimB said...

NJ passes a similar regulation last year. Have to show youe Firearms ID card to purchase handgun ammo. I stopped buying ALL of my ammo in NJ. To hell with them. JimB

word Vir= nonsiv.. how appropriate

elmo_iscariot said...

Is it because you don't want to be inconvenienced, in which case you're selfish...

Mike, I've been listening to you insultingly spout off about "inconvenience" for over a year now.

Restrictions on civil rights that don't meet strict scrutiny are called "burdens", not "inconveniences". Requiring a thumbprint every time a person wants to send an email or post a blog entry "might" save lives by helping the government catch terrorists. Forcing everybody to submit to at-will searches by police "might" save lives by catching criminals who routinely carry guns illegally.

But the rights of free speech, freedom from unreasonable search, and freedom to keep and bear arms require more than "it seems to me it might help" to restrict. You must show a compelling need, show that the law addresses that need, show that the law doesn't burden more behavior than that which needs restricting, and show that no less restrictive measures exist.

I know you really want this to be as simple as "if there's any chance it might save one life, everybody should accept it regardless of the burden", but it just ain't so.

elmo_iscariot said...

Let me see if I can illustrate this a bit better:

You've described almost any proposed or actual restriction on this right as an "inconvenience". You've expressed admiration for the gun laws of New Jersey, where we need to submit to multiple redundant background checks, get fingerprinted, release our entire mental health records, pay almost a hundred dollars in fees, submit multiple character references, get our employers' permission, and wait up to a year before we can purchase _any_ guns or handgun ammo. Then we have to go through most of those processes again for _each_ handgun we want to buy. In addition, New Jersey laws make it a felony to travel with a handgun (even unloaded, locked in a case in the trunk) if _any_ stops are made on the way, denies carry permits to all but the politically connected, and places confusing and vague restrictions on hollow-point ammo, which is the standard for all armed civilians and police (actually decreasing safety by increasing the risk of overpenetration).

Is there a point at which you'll acknowledge that "inconveniences" have added up to an unacceptable burden, or is any amount of restriction just a matter of "convenience" in your mind?

Reno Sepulveda said...

Oh it's no big deal I can't really afford to buy ammo anymore anyway because of that whole unemployment thing. But bygosh Yosemite sure is beautiful this time of year... and how bout those San Francisco Giants??!!

I do have a few questions though. When do I get my Gun Owner ID Badge? How much will it cost or, will the State just issue it to me? And last can I just carry it around in my wallet or do I have to wear it openly?