Tag Archives: gun control

Just Some Links About New Gun Control Measures

3 Apr

I stumbled upon some new gun laws. I thought I’d share the links.

Shooters in Connecticut are stocking up because new laws there will force the registration of magazines over ten rounds. There is also a plan to demand a background check (with finger printing) to purchase ammunition.

In California, another proposal will alert the authorities if you purchase more than 3,000 rounds of ammo in a short time.

Magpul is leaving Colorado because of new magazine laws there.

The New York Times is jumping on the bandwagon and parading out the ammunition of the Lanza family.

The good news: New York realized that nobody makes 7 shot magazines for most modern autoloaders, so is suspending the 7 shot ban.

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Here’s a good article about overlanding on TraceMyPreps.com.

For the prepper who has everything (and a lot of freaking money!): Satellite Phones.

Here’s a short news article about amateur radio.

For those who want to make their shots count: This article talks a bit about rifle marksmanship.

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Proposed Minnesota Gun-Magazine Ban (MN Prepper Alert)

8 Feb

Just a quick post. I stumbled on this article “Minn. Legislature: Assault-weapons ban heats up gun hearings

I figured no big deal. Talk, talk, yada, yada. Then somebody commented that if this bill 242 goes through, Minnesota would join New York in disallowing magazines greater than ten rounds. I googled the proposed legislation  myself …yikes e mikes e….the commentator was correct.

Here is the legislation:
———————–
Any person who, on August 1, 2013, is in possession of a large-capacity magazine
2.30has 120 days to do either of the following without being subject to prosecution under
2.31Minnesota Statutes, section 624.7133:
2.32(1) permanently alter the magazine so it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds;
2.33(2) remove the large-capacity magazine from the state; or
2.34(3) surrender the large-capacity magazine to a law enforcement agency for
2.35destruction.
————————

Notice, no grandfathering in of old magazines currently owned. If this law passes, Minnesota preppers with “high capacity” magazines would be in legal peril. I’m glad I never switched away from the old 1911-A1. If I have it and my 870 I’d feel well protected.

The proposed ban on “assault rifles” would impact DPMS Panther Arms, based in Minnesota.

If you find yourself subject to this sort of thing and you want to comply with the law, look into selling your magazines on an online gun auction site, like gunbroker.com. Given the amount of money people are paying for these today, if you have extra magazines, now might be the time to sell them and pocket the cash.

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Oh, well, if they take away our guns, at least we’ll have our knitting needles and cooking.

Here’s a depressing story: Hundreds of thousands of people with advanced degrees are on food stamps.

We’ll classify this one under: “Who Knew?” It turns out during drought you should water your home’s foundation.
In Minnesota, foundations are cracking at record levels because of ground dryness.

Here’s a nice article about rainwater collection in Texas. There is a link to a pdf about harvesting rainwater (This is the same pdf I recommend in The Prepper Next Door.)

The drought is harming owls in Texas.

My Thoughts On Gun Control And The AR-15

9 Jan

When I started this blog, I wanted to avoid a heavy focus on guns and to avoid politics. There are plenty of blogs discussing those topics. I’m going to violate this and share some of my thoughts about gun control and the AR-15.

One year ago, gun control was completely off the charts as a political topic. But with a few tragic shootings, it has moved to the front burner. You can’t pickup a newspaper or visit a news website without seeing a piece about ideas for new gun control plans.

Some of the ideas include: universal background checks, a national gun registration database, heavy penalties for carrying guns near schools, renewal of the assault weapons ban, disallowing new magazines over ten rounds and banning “assault” style weapons.

A universal background check isn’t a bad idea. A person with a felony background shouldn’t be able to acquire guns through legitimate channels. In the case of the Newtown shooting, the lady who purchased the weapons passed one of the most stringent background checks in the country. By all accounts, she was a responsible and law abiding citizen. Her weapons were taken by her son.

Many criminals who want guns acquire stolen firearms through the black market. As long as guns can be stolen, it will be next to impossible to prevent a determined criminal from getting a gun. But a universal background check could help prevent a mentally disturbed person from purchasing a firearm.

A national registration database bothers many supporters of gun rights who don’t believe it’s the government’s business to know who owns guns. They see it as a possible first step to firearm confiscation. If the government knows exactly what weapons you own, and if a transfer to another party must be registered in the database, all of your firearms would be tracked.

While there might be some benefit to this, a national gun registration wouldn’t have prevented the Newtown shooting. The mother would have passed her background check with flying colors and have had her weapons registered in the database. That wouldn’t have done one thing to prevent the guns from being taken and misused. A database would allow law enforcement to track who acquires a lot of guns that wind up in the hands of criminals.

Heavy penalties for carrying guns near schools is a curious idea, but it too would have proved useless in preventing the Newtown shooting. The shooter was on a suicide mission. The shooter in Colorado was arrested and is facing multiple felony charges for murder. A penalty for carrying the gun on school premises wouldn’t have deterred either shooter. These people were blind to the personal consequences of their actions. One more legal penalty meant nothing to them.

Talk of reinstating the assault weapons ban and banning high capacity magazines has proved to be a powerful economic stimulus for gun shop owners who are seeing record sales of these items. Others have proposed making all semiautomatic rifles fall under Class 3 weapons which would require special permits. It would then largely be up to the individual states to determine if its citizens could own them.

Neglecting all the semiautomatic weapons already in the population, one problem with banning high-capacity weapons is that it won’t prevent malicious behavior. Even if we could use a large magnet to remove all high-capacity semiautomatic weapons from America, deranged shooters could still use a shotgun or a revolver to kill four or five people. Wouldn’t those shootings be tragedies too?

People strongly supporting gun control will argue we need to ban all revolvers and shotguns to prevent these future tragedies. If it worked for high capacity weapons wouldn’t it work for revolvers too? So once we accept gun bans as a solution to the problem of malicious shootings, there is no potential limit to just how much gun control we’d see in the future.

If gun control won’t prevent tragedies, what about the NRA’s suggestion of placing armed guards in every school? That’s not economically realistic. If we spend more for police, they can be much more effectively placed. Proposing that teachers arm themselves is a losing proposition too. Too many teachers don’t want guns in schools. Once we argue many teachers must be armed, that will only grow support for gun control nationally.

What about the infamous AR-15? Preppers who read my book know I like it. It’s popular with preppers. It’s popular with target shooters. Many long-range shooters love using AR-15s chambered in the 6.5 Grendel to hit targets at 500, 600, and even 800 yards.

There were three major shootings that have been reported in the last couple of years where a malicious person used an AR-15. I’ve seen estimates that there are about 3 million AR-15 rifles in America. Doing the math, the chances of an existing AR-15 rifle being used nefariously are about 0.001 percent. One thousandth of a percent.

The lesson is that misuse of semiautomatic rifles is rare. Do we really want to prevent three million honest law abiding Americans from owning AR-15s to prevent three shootings?

Some gun control advocates aiming at the AR-15 have singled out survivalists and preppers as “paranoid survivalists who worry about having to fend off thieves and trespassers in the event of disaster.”

They argue we don’t have a “need” for AR-15s. Putting aside the issue of rights versus needs, the thing that upsets many gun owners is being told what we “need” and what we don’t “need.” There are some who would argue you don’t “need” a revolver for defense either. Should we all give up our revolvers? Who is to decide what level of armament is appropriate?

Once we accept gun restrictions as a way to reduce rare events, we’re on a slippery slope where many more guns could be banned in the future. As I wrote in the book, preppers want to be self sufficient and this is a key reason we study self defense. We don’t want to have to depend upon law enforcement or the government to protect our families. No matter how bad things get, we want to at least have a chance to defend ourselves. It’s not about fending off “thieves and trespassers.” It’s about protecting our families from those who would be quite willing to kill us for a few supplies.

Dealing With Deadly People & Sears Rant

20 Dec

For several days now, the news has had non-stop coverage of a school shooting. It’s a sad story. A troubled boy shot his mom and then shot several people in a school. Gun control is a constant theme. Mental illness is another.

Let’s begin by saying the obvious: There are many people who are mentally ill who will never harm another person in their life. As has been correctly reported, the mentally ill are too often bullied, picked on, and harmed by others. We don’t want to stigmatize people with mental health issues. That said, something I’ve read a few times is that we can’t be sure the boy’s mental health problems were related to the violence. Yes, we can. Mentally healthy people don’t gun down classrooms full of kids. There is something fundamentally not working correctly in the brain if shooting up a grade school seems like the thing to do. This isn’t the same thing as just being overcome by rage (called an emotional hijacking) and shooting one person.

Police, prison guards, and social workers regularly deal with people with serious mental problems, often compounded by drug or alcohol abuse. Most of us don’t have experience with troubled individuals. There are several kinds of deadly people in the world.

There are psychotics and there are sociopaths. The most dangerous psychotics might be loners, reclusive, and obsessed with the morbid. We should be careful not to stigmatize introverts, shy people, or loners. Many introverts are extremely gentle. Shy people, almost by definition, care about other people, usually caring too much about what other people think of them.

Some parents must deal with dangerous behavior from a child’s early age. The show 20/20  ran an episode (link to hulu) that chronicled this. It’s distressing to watch, but it gives us a new respect for parents struggling with this.

Some parents might recognize that something is wrong, but fail to evaluate a mental-health problem. It’s sad, but after childhood, some children won’t be able to integrate into society. They’ll need to be institutionalized, both for their own safety and for the safety of others. Too many wind up incarcerated in prisons, when they just move out like a normal young adult into the world.

Even with two parents, a child who grows into an adult who wants to burn the house down or behave in other troubling ways is simply too much to handle for parents.

One of the victims neglected by the media was the mother of the shooter, who by all accounts sounded like a generous women who liked gardening. No parent wants to institutionalize her child. But that may be the only solution. Just like a woman fleeing an abusive spouse, there’s a danger at the time of commitment. It has been reported (but not confirmed) that the mother might have been seeking commitment for the son, which may have been the triggering event.

The magazine Psychology Today had an interesting article about the psychosis of the Colorado shooter.  I strongly agree with a statement the author made, “The price of a free society is the acceptance of a certain amount of risk—we can’t be protected from everything and still be free.”

Sociopaths are a different breed. They aren’t shy or reclusive. Most are quite outgoing. They truly don’t care what other people think about them. They lack empathy for others. The link above has a link to a pdf of a classic book (The Mask Of Sanity) about sociopaths. Sociopaths are often harmless, but a nuisance.

Because they have no sense of other people’s feelings, they’ll do things like steal cars just to drive across town. They often become confidence men or mooches. According to the book The Sociopath Next Door, about 4-5% of the population might have sociopathic tendencies. Some people who suffer damage to a particular part of the brain become sociopaths, literally, by accident.

Gun control is the other topic that has become popular in the news. Before the shooting, there was no push to reinstate the assault weapons ban or limit magazine capacity. It was a dead topic. The recent shooting has changed this.

In a response to an article on emergencymgmt.com, David Nash (TNgun.com) said that it’s important for preppers to be seen as “smart, responsible, individual’s beacons of liberty and good judgment.”

He is right, not just for prepping, but especially now, for gun ownership. If I had to guess, I’d bet about 30% of Americans are strong supporters of the 2nd Amendment. About 10% are adamantly opposed to gun ownership. This leaves 60% of the population that is subject to being influenced one way or the other. So what other people think of us, as gun owners, is important. It’s that large group in the middle that will determine what restrictions exist on gun ownership in the future.

What I dislike is an attempt to rewrite history and portray the 2nd Amendment as a right conferred to the States.

As gun owners, one thing we can all do to protect our rights is to keep most of our weapons locked up and safe. We must have some weapons available for personal defense, but the fewer weapons that fall into troubled hands, the better.

While the tendency is for people to want the government to protect them from acts of insanity, I think many preppers and others want to protect themselves. I read an article that in Minnesota, after the shooting, permits for CCW are up sharply.

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In a recent post, I recommended Craftsman tools as a possible gift, only the Made-in-the-USA automotive hand tools. Avoid anything made by them with an engine or electric motor. A few years ago, when I needed new tires, I didn’t take my car to them, even though they were the lowest price. They had too horrible a reputation for automotive trickery. I didn’t want them anywhere near my vehicles.

When I got some tools for the holidays this year, they canceled one item, but billed me for it anyway. After six or so e-mails with their support staff, who kept insisting I hadn’t been charged for the cancelled item (even though I had the credit card bill in my hand showing the full charge) I just had the credit card company reverse the charges.

If you’re billed for merchandise you didn’t receive (from any seller), here is what the FTC recommends you do to get the credit card company to reverse the charge.  If you paid with Paypal, you can file a dispute with them. Filing a BBB complaint is another option.

When I stumbled upon this (looking for others b****** about Sears), I nearly fell over. Sears had to settle with the FTC for violating customer’s privacy. Sears had asked people to “join their community” which really meant they installed some tracking software on the customer’s computer.

The FTC charge said, “the software would also monitor consumers’ online secure sessions – including sessions on third parties’ Web sites – and collect information transmitted in those sessions, such as the contents of shopping carts, online bank statements, drug prescription records, video rental records, library borrowing histories, and the sender, recipient, subject, and size for web-based e-mails.”

For those of you climbing back on your chair after falling off, you read it correctly. If you had this malware installed by Sears, they might know your bank balance, your library record, and what you did on other third-party websites. Talk about Big Brother! It’s astounding a corporation would have so little respect for their customer’s privacy.

Despite all this, I still want to snatch up what Craftsman Tools I desire, because many experts predict Sears won’t last long and many of the newer tools are being made in China.

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I should have mentioned this earlier, but Menards has a sale on 60 Watt and 75 Watt American-made Sylvania double-life incandescent light bulbs. A pack of four is $0.99. For those in the dark, next month, 75 watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be made. The year after that, the 60 watt bulbs go the way of the do-do bird and Twinki too. Most amazingly, our local utility rates are going up 9% next year, because the utility company says people are using less energy so they need to bill us more for it!