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'This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun' Category Archive

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An End-Around Firearms Ban?

August 26th, 2010 by Kevin

Before the 2008 election, there were a lot of warnings and scary platitudes tossed around about Obama.  Now granted a lot of them have come true, but one that hasn\’t is that Obama is going to take away our guns.  You heard it everywhere.  Gun owners started hiding weapons and firearm purchases went absolutely through the roof, so much that the joke was that Obama was the NRA\’s Salesman of the Year.

I heard all these claims and shoke my head at them all.  I knew Obama would never go after guns themselves.  The government confiscating firearms is just too symbolic and high-profile.  Even for non-Second Amendment supporters, it would be a little too Stalinesque to overlook.  I often counseled those that would listen that the danger was not in Obama taking away guns, but the ammunition.  Without ammunition a gun is just a really well engineered chunk of metal.  It\’s an awkward club, or a really cool mantelpiece for the fireplace.  It\’s the Achille\’s Heel of firearms, and there are a million ways to strike it.

Most obvious is placing high taxes upon either the ammunition itself or the components required to manufacture them.  Or imposing artificially high prices by limiting the available materials for ammunition.  This is actually an approach the Obama Administration has already tried….and backed down when they got caught.  But they may be up to their old tricks again….

With the fall hunting season fast approaching, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under Lisa Jackson, who was responsible for banning bear hunting in New Jersey, is now considering a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) – a leading anti-hunting organization – to ban all traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976, a law in which Congress expressly exempted ammunition.  If the EPA approves the petition, the result will be a total ban on all ammunition containing lead-core components, including hunting and target-shooting rounds. The EPA must decide to accept or reject this petition by November 1, 2010, the day before the midterm elections.

Now certainly there exists non-lead alternatives for ammunition, but they are also extremely expensive.  They also aren\’t nearly as effective.  Lead, being a softer metal tends to impart more of it\’s kinetic energy upon it\’s target, rather than the over-penetration problem you can have with other metals.  Lead is also a cheaper metal that keeps down the overall costs of the ammunition, which lends to people buying more of it.  This is important when a vast majority of the monies used for wildlife management and conservation efforts come from either hunting/fishing licenses and the 11 percent federal excise tax placed upon ammunition.

Eliminating one of the most common, and certainly the least expensive elements, in ammunition would necessarily greatly increase the cost of those rounds.  And when even a simple hunting trip can involve the purchase of many many rounds, this has a prohibitive effect on the hunting industry in general.  An industry that employs a lot of people and which contributes vast sums of resources to wildlife conservation efforts.  And when it becomes cost prohibitive to even buy such ammunition, firearms themselves become cost-prohibitive and you\’ve essentially accomplished the same thing a firearms ban would accomplish.

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Sold : NRA\’s Soul??

July 2nd, 2010 by Kevin

Earlier today I tweeted that the NRA was thinking of selling out it\’s principles by supporting Harry Reid in this re-election campaign against pro-gun Sharron Angle, after seeing an article on Red State about it…

Now, I’m getting credible reports that the NRA is leaning toward endorsing Harry Reid, even though the NRA is finally saying it will score a vote on Kagan — something that was not a sure thing.

Why would they do this? Why would they go out of their way to protect a Senator who has demonstrated a repeated hostility to the Second Amendment in his votes and his leadership?

Well, I thought perhaps the NRA carveout in the DISCLOSE Act might be the answer. But, there is more. It turns out, Reid secured a $61 million earmark for a gun range in Clark County, Nevada.

That sounds you heard was jaws dropping at gun ranges all around the country.

Now granted the NRA hasn\’t always been the best partner of Second Amendment activists.  They have been reluctant to fill their role, more concerned with protecting their power than using it to advance the reason for that power.  Good example would be the now groundbreaking Supreme Court case Heller vs DC, which for once declared that the Second Amendment protected an individual\’s right to keep and bear arms, where the NRA was reluctant to get involved, fearing the potential outcomes.  The NRA was also virtually non-existent in the effort to get a carry law passed in Minnesota.  But they also have numbers and clout and they can accomplish a great deal when they decide to do it.

Which is why it\’s all the more tragic that the NRA would even be considering this.  I\’m not sure of the reason, it\’s all speculation at this point, but Wayne LaPierre being crazy is a distinct possibility.  While the NRA is trying to claim that Reid has been a big supporter of the Second Amendment, his voting record tells a vastly different story.  Reid getting one shooting range built does not erase years of anti-Second Amendment votes.  The NRA needs to understand that, and soon.

Now shortly after my tweet, Andy Aplikowski, took up his torch and pitchfork, a rather predictable reaction to such news…

After I saw the reports that the NRA was considering or has endorsed Democrat Majority Leader and all around scumbag Harry Reid, I sent response back to the NRA demanding to know how to cancel my membership.

Now I can\’t fault Andy\’s reaction, it was my initial reaction as well.  But at the same time, I do have to recognize the NRA for what they are….a huge lobbying organization that can have great value if managed properly.  It is worth trying to save, and it\’s worth noting that the NRA hasn\’t endorsed Reid yet, and it\’s our job to make sure they don\’t.  You can call the NRA at (800) 392-VOTE (8683) and you can write them at the following address:

National Rifle Association
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030

Or send an email to them here.

Make sure they understand that an endorsement of Reid means they lose your membership fees….forever.  Make sure that they understand you\’re tired of their lackluster performance.  And make sure they understand that there are other pro-Second Amendment organizations that you can support instead.

If that doesn\’t work, or you\’re still bitter at the NRA, may I suggest several other organization that are worthy of your support??

For you Minnesotans, there is hardly a better organization than the Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA).  It\’s a small local organization that has been at the forefront of every firearms rights battle in Minnesota, and every carry permit holder in the state (all 75,000 of you!) owe them a great deal of thanks.  Now I\’ll warn you their website is nothing to brag about, but they do good work where it counts.  You can become a supporter here, and know your dollars aren\’t going to a fancy website, they are going to support the Second Amendment in Minnesota.

If you\’re thinking more on a national scale, allow me to recommend the Gun Owners of American (GOA), a no-compromise top-notch organization.  While it doesn\’t have the millions of members the NRA can claim, it does have a respectable 300,000 members and growing.  They spend several million dollars every year lobbying Congress on behalf of the Second Amendment.  You can join them here.

But regardless of what you do, do take my advice and lobby the NRA to continue lobbying on behalf of us.  Call, mail, email, whatever….just make sure they know that their members have noticed their impending betrayal and we\’ll not going to overlook it.

[Crossposted at True North]

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Posted in This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun | 2 Comments »

McDonald vs Chicago Review

June 29th, 2010 by Kevin

Well here we are again, trying to determine if the bastard stepchild of the Bill of Rights will finally get the respect our Founding Fathers gave it.  Finally the Supreme Court handed down their ruling on Heller – Part II (aka McDonald vs Chicago).  It\’s not quite the ruling I hoped for but it is the ruling I expected:

It’s also quite possible, that the US Supreme Court will maintain an extremely focused view of this case, and only address the incorporation issue, and leave the definition of “reasonable regulation” completely untouched.  In fact, I increasingly believe that will be the case.  Throughout it’s history the US Supreme Court has abhorred the idea of sweeping changes and landmark decisions, preferring an incremental approach to interpreting the law.  That’s not together an unwise approach to things…in fact it’s the approach Republicans are advocating right now in relation to health care reform.

So arguments begin on Tuesday, and SCOTUS has already indicated they will not release the audio of the arguments, only written transcript at the end of the day, so look for that.  And expect a very narrow ruling on this issue, that likely will not define reasonable regulation, but instead will leave that for a future case, just as Heller did.

My biggest issue with Heller was that while it declared the Second Amendment established an individual right to firearms, it also specified that some reasonable regulation was okay but did not specify what reasonable was.  McDonald vs Chicago took basically the same approach, it incorporated the right but left the degree of regulation fairly open-ended.

First of all, the right to keep and bear arms is described as a fundamental right by the majority, which invokes the idea that strict scrutiny should be applied to any legal regulation of that right.  On the other hand the court specified that this ruling should not be interpreted as ending state\’s \”experimentation with reasonable firearms regulations.\”  It\’s far from clear which standard will be applied by the lower courts….in fact in his dissenting opinion, Justice Steven declares :

Today’s decision invites an avalanche of litigation that could mire the federal courts in fine-grained determi nations about which state and local regulations comport with the Heller right….under a standard of review we have not even established.

He\’s right on both points.  This will result in an avalanche of legal challenges to local and state regulations.  And nobody has defined what standard should be applied, or even given a vague outline of what is likely to pass scrutiny.  Although the second half of this analysis actually does a fairly good job of divining how various types of regulations are likely to be interpreted.

There was also something in this decision for the legal nerds out there.  While Alito found the Second Amendment was incorporated via the Due Process clause, which was the basis for the majority opinion.  Justice Thomas also declared that Privileges and Immunities Clause applied, which is, to put it bluntly, astonishing as it overturns roughly 140 years of legal opinion, when the Slaughter-House cases smothered the Fourteenth Amendment in it\’s infancy.  It also puts the court on the road to an originalist reading of the Bill of Rights.  The fact that Thomas\’s opinion on the Privileges and Immunities Clause went unchallenged will set legal scholars into near orgasmic delight at the possibilities for the future.

In the meantime we can prepare ourselves for a almost endless stream of lawsuits as virtually ever gun-control law and firearm regulation in the country is challenged.  Far from setting the matter straight, McDonald has simply opened the flood gates for years of deliberation in the lower courts until we\’re back here for a very loose definition of what legal standard should be applied.

Cya again in a few years.

[Crossposted at True North]

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Show Your Mother How Much You Care

May 4th, 2010 by Kevin

Your mother may insist she\’ll always be there for you, but let\’s face it, you can\’t always be there for her.  Shouldn\’t she have the ability to defend herself if the worst should ever happen.  Well now you can make sure she can….for free!

Andrew Rothman, one of the best firearms instructors in the state, is offering carry permit classes for free for all mothers, when accompanied by a paying customer.  You get to get your carry permit, and your mother gets hers for free. And you\’ll be taking the classes from one of the most knowledgeable minds in Minnesota.  Few instructors can match his experience and knowledge, and your mother gets her training for free.

So show your mother you care and want her around no matter what happens.

Okay in all seriousness, it\’s an awesome deal by a top-notch instructor, and it applies to all mothers.  So you can take a class, and get your wife, best friend, mother, mother-in-law, whatever, in for free.  You were thinking of getting your carry permit anyway, you may as well take it with someone you love.

UPDATE : Link fixed!

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McDonald vs Chicago Oral Argument Concluded

March 3rd, 2010 by Kevin

The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on McDonald vs Chicago, and while the transcript is 77 pages longs, it makes for an interesting read.  It seems all but certain that that court that SCOTUS will rule that the Second Amendment is incorporated via the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In the initial pages of the transcript it appeared as if the Petitioners lawyer Alan Gura, was woefully unprepared, as he was arguing for incorporation via the Privileges and  Immunities clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which nobody on the court seemed even remotely interested in considering.  Not just because it essentially runs contrary to about 140 years of law, but also because justices were concerned about just how many other rights would come along with that sort of incorporation.  In retrospect though, I think Gura\’s argument was more skillful framing than anything else, as it essentially made incorporation via due process seem like the measured and reasonable option.

Most of the debate seemed to center just how much jurisprudence comes with the Second Amendment in it\’s incorporation, to which both Clement (NRA) and Gura argued, that\’s of minimal concern because short of Heller, there really is no jurisprudence regarding the Second Amendment at the moment.  It\’s difficult to gauge how much traction that argument got, because the argument generally seemed to focus on several other points.

On one hand Heller essentially related strictly to the use of a handgun in self-defense in ones home, so does incorporation just relate to that narrowly defined definition of the Second Amendment or a broader understanding of what it means to keep and bear arms.  To that end, it seemed pretty firmly established by even the liberal bloc of the court that the rights to keep and bear arms and of self defense preceded the Bill of Rights and would exist even absent a Second Amendment. Despite several Justices demonstrating some discomfort with incorporating a broad view of the Second Amendment, the point was made several times that it would be unwise, and contrary to court history, to establish a Federal understanding of the Second Amendment, and then a watered down version that applies to the States.

The lawyer, Feldman, representing the city of Chicago was worse than ineffective in the argument, with even the liberal bloc of the court, stopping just short of openly mocking his arguments.  It was clear that Feldman was never really able to argue his point because he was continuously interrupted by Justices pointing out flaws in the basis for his arguments.  In fact at several points, Feldman seemed to try to revist Heller and argue against it\’s findings…a position that did not find any support amongst the Justices.  Even Justice Kennedy, whose support is critical to any pro-gun-control victory, seemed a little irritated by the suggestion that Heller might not say that the right to self-defense was not a fundamental right.

Eventually, Feldman\’s arguments seemed to eventually boil down to \”Sure I\’m wrong, but guns are icky\”.  A viewpoint which was roundly dismissed by Scalia who pointed out that this case shouldn\’t be decided on the basis of statistics, but rather determining what the minimum constitutional right was and everything above that is up to the States.

To be quite honest, it was sort of hard to gauge the thoughts of the liberal bloc of the court, since the argument of Feldman was such a disaster that none of the more liberal Justices really had a chance to argue for their likely view of the issues.  Trying to navigate Feldman\’s ramblings was futile and counter-productive to trying to make a statement for a gun-control approach to the issue.

In summary, it seems that incorporation is a slam dunk via the due process clause.  How much of the Second Amendment is codified by this ruling is probably the point of dispute at this point.  While it seems likely that SCOTUS will find a Second Amendment broader than that defined in Heller is incorporated, it remains to be seen how broad that is.  In fact, Chief Justice Roberts seemed to revel in the mystery  of that, pointing out several times that they\’ve never said anything of the content of the Second Amendment beyond what is in Heller.

The issue of \”reasonable regulation\” was barely touched, and seems destined to not be addressed by this case.  It seems likely that the eventually finding will cite a very loose definition of the Second Amendment as it\’s incorporated against the States, and leave it to lower courts to define what constitutes reasonable, as there is existing case law defining \”reasonable regulation\” for other rights.

I would expect this to be one of the last cases decided by SCOTUS, because while there was broad agreement on the overriding issue, the details seemed to be a source of a lot of speculation by the Justices.  Of course, I could be wrong on that last point, because like I pointed out, getting a read on the liberal bloc of the court was exceedingly difficult.

[Crossposted at True North]

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Heller Part II : McDonald vs Chicago

March 2nd, 2010 by Kevin

For those of us who are passionate about the Second Amendment, Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010, is the day we\’ve been waiting for since June 27th, 2008.   For years, the Second Amendment has been the forgotten and neglected step child of the Bill of Rights, until that day when the Supreme Court declared that, just like every other right detailed in the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment referred to individuals, not the military.  And while, Heller vs DC alone was a great victory for the Second Amendment and US Citizens, it also had one noticeable shortcoming, which may very well have been intentional.  As I, and others, observed at the time

My one major disagreement with the decision, and part of the focus of Breyer’s dissent, is that the majority doesn’t really indicate what degree of regulation states can use on the use of firearms. It would be nice to have some sort of guideline or I fear that we’ll be right back in this same spot in the future.

Turns out that that was a rather prophetic statement, as indeed we are right back where we were.  We have no idea what constitutes reasonable regulation and local governments have claimed the ruling didn\’t apply.  So once again, we\’re back to a similar question….does the Second Amendment, like every other right detailed in the Bill of Rights, apply to state and local governments via the 14th Amendment?  We\’re about to get our answer in McDonald vs Chicago….whose oral arguments start today….actually by the time most of you read this, they will have already started.

So what\’s going to happen?  Well, it seems incredibly likely that the court will rule that incorporation applies to the Second Amendment, as I noted five months ago

Already the Brady campaign is openly accepting that the Second Amendment is likely to be incorporated.  Instead, the contention seems to be falling along the same lines as Heller did.  Both sides are conceding the fundamental question and are instead debating the details, basically what consists of reasonable regulations.

Essentially this case will take the two extremes of the debate out of the equation.  Outright bans and unrestricted ownership/possession will be out.  Even Scalia in Heller noted that while outright bans were certainly unlawful, reasonable regulation had to be allowed.  That same standard will likely apply.  It will come down to the question of what regulation is reasonable.  Essentially what is the Second Amendment equivalent of shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre?

I don\’t see anything that would significantly change any of that.  Heller pretty adamantly declared that outright bans were verboten, but then again, even Scalia conceded some regulation was okay.

It\’s also quite possible, that the US Supreme Court will maintain an extremely focused view of this case, and only address the incorporation issue, and leave the definition of \”reasonable regulation\” completely untouched.  In fact, I increasingly believe that will be the case.  Throughout it\’s history the US Supreme Court has abhorred the idea of sweeping changes and landmark decisions, preferring an incremental approach to interpreting the law.  That\’s not together an unwise approach to things…in fact it\’s the approach Republicans are advocating right now in relation to health care reform.

So arguments begin on Tuesday, and SCOTUS has already indicated they will not release the audio of the arguments, only written transcript at the end of the day, so look for that.  And expect a very narrow ruling on this issue, that likely will not define reasonable regulation, but instead will leave that for a future case, just as Heller did.

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Posted in SCOTUS, This Is My Rifle, This Is My Gun, True North | 2 Comments »

Bill O\’Reilly Supports Firearm Confiscation From Citizens

February 22nd, 2010 by Kevin

According to Bill O\’Reilly, opposing government confiscation of firearms is an \”extreme\” view….nevermind that it\’s the LAW and has been firmly upheld by the courts over and over.  Just ask the City of New Orleans that got their legal pee pee slapped for trying that during Katrina.

But according to Bill O\’Reilly the government is perfectly excused to confiscate firearms from citizens during emergencies.  Nevermind, that during emergencies, when public services like police and fire are breaking down and/or strained to the limit, is the time private citizens need their firearms the most!  And if it\’s such an emergency how can a government possibly have the resources to be confiscating firearms anyway.

Whatever the reason, either Bill O\’Reilly has completely flipped his lid or whomever prepped him for this show was on drugs.  Because O\’Reilly comes off as the kook here, and his guest as rationale and intelligent, and thoroughly patient with O\’Reilly\’s idiocy.

Congrats Bill, you had a great run.  Don\’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.

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Grenades Or Flares, There\’s A Subtle Difference

February 9th, 2010 by Kevin

The most recent addition to my DVR-dominated TV lineup, is Pawn Stars, of which I\’ve actually become a pretty big fan.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it\’s basically about a big Las Vegas pawn shop.  It centers around the varied and interesting items people bring into the shop, and the two-way process of learning/teaching about the item and it\’s significance and then the inevitable negotiations over price.

One of the things I like most about the show, is that the pawn shop employees have no qualms about admitting when they are outside their expertise and need to call in an expert. That\’s especially the case on weapons of all sorts, including guns. I only wish our mainstream media had the same humility, and that includes FoxNews.

The site Every Day, No Days Off slams FoxNews for indicating a suspect had a 37mm grenade launcher on their weapon.

Detectives later searched the room where Woodson had been staying at the Red Mill Inn in Branchburg. Forrest said they seized another Bushmaster .308-caliber semiautomatic rifle with a defaced serial number, a 37 mm Cobray grenade launcher, a second bulletproof vest, a Russian-made night vision scope, a police scanner, a map of a U.S. military installation and a map of an out-of-state civilian community, a Middle Eastern red and white colored traditional headdress and hundreds of rounds of .50-caliber and .308-caliber ammunition.

To which Every Day, No Days Off responds

BIG difference. One is a Destructive Device (40mm) and one is not (37mm).

There is no such thing as \”grenades\” for the 37mm.

Very correct, the 37mm fires things like tear gas canisters, smoke rounds and flares. Although to be fair to FoxNews, vendors frequently market them as \”grenade launchers\”, and the 37mm is the civilian non-destructive version of the true 40mm grenade launcher. But still, it\’s a rather serious mislabeling of a rather critical piece of information and FoxNews deserves to be slapped for it.

I\’m actually more annoyed by this line that Every Day, No Days Off mostly gives them a pass on.

Forrest said the .223-caliber assault rifle that Woodson was carrying had a defaced serial number and had been altered to fire .50-caliber ammunition.

From the description I\’m also assuming it was an AR-15, the infamous \”Evil Black Rifle\” (EBR). Lots of things wrong with just this one sentence.

First of all, the holy of holies….the reference to \”assault rifle\”, whose bastard cousin is the term \”assault weapon\”.  I have yet to find someone that can define \”assault weapon\” as anything that doesn\’t also include a standard hunting rifle, the type sitting in the home of most hunters anywhere. Usually the conversation comes down to the very \”objective\” description of….\”well it looks scary\”, hence the tongue-in-cheek label of \”Evil Black Rifle\” (EBR).

A careful reader will observe though, that they use the term \”assault rifle\”.  Many people use the term interchangeably with \”assault weapon\”.  But others actually do attempt to define it, with one of the core requirements being \”capable of fully-automatic fire\”.  That\’s not the case here, hence it\’s not an \”assault rifle\”.  The reason I know that\’s not the case here is because otherwise the article would have been titled:


That not being the case, I think it\’s a fair assumption.

What also irritates me is the reference to a .223-caliber rifle altered to fire .50-caliber ammunition…..well then it\’s not a .223-caliber rifle now is it??

And it speaks to an ignorance of AR-15s, which are popular, in part because they are as modular as all hell. I\’m gonna go out on a limb here and bet that there are probably almost as many AR-15s built from parts by their owner, as there were built in a factory. Don\’t like something on your AR-15, you swap out that specific part for something more your style. The caliber is just one piece of that. You can find AR-15 uppers for everything between the paltry .22 to the .50 BMG, inclusive.

The firearms wasn\’t altered to fire .50, that\’s what it\’s designed to do. The only way it was \”altered\” was having the serial number defaced.

Now I\’m by no means a firearms expert, as much as I may blog about them, but it doesn\’t take much knowledge to spot the inconsistencies, subtle errors, and outright obliviousness present whenever anyone in the media starts talking about firearms. It\’s almost as if it\’s intentional but I try not to be the paranoid sort.

So instead I offer this:

Dear FoxNews, ABC, CBS, NBC, , etc,

Next time you want to bloviate about firearms, run your article by me first. I\’ll make sure you got at least the basics correct. All I ask in return is one firearm of my choice every month. Considering what you pay your talking heads it\’s a bargain. In fact you\’ll probably cost ME money as I\’ll need to spend a ton just outfitting these firearms with all the \”necessary\” accessories….like grenade launchers.


Kevin Ecker

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FYI : Hollowpoint Ammunition Recall

January 26th, 2010 by Kevin

LOL, gotta love the Onion.

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Our Country Is In Only The Best Of Hands

January 19th, 2010 by Kevin

Via Instapundit, yet another example of the system working

A Waupaca woman finds herself in the middle of a major security investigation at Cleveland\’s airport.

Kimmy Janke had gone through security. In fact, she was in a secure part of the terminal when she stopped to go to the bathroom before making her connecting flight.

That\’s when she found a loaded handgun.

\”A little kid could have grabbed that. The wrong person could have grabbed that. You never know,\” Janke said.

Turns out it belong to a federal custom agent, who was allowed to retire without any discipline or reprimand or even a token slap on the wrist.  If any of the rest of us had done half as much you\’d have TSA agents probing orifices you didn\’t know you had….and I\’m guessing you wouldn\’t get so much as dinner&movie before.

What really bothers me about this is how elementary this error really is.  You don\’t need to be a \”highly trained federal agent\”, as she is described, to know how to handle a firearm in a public restroom.  This is a topic that\’s handled in the most elementary of firearms courses relating to carrying in public.   Basically ANY carry permit course/book/pamplet/business card/etc is probably gonna touch on this subject and how to handle it.  Yet a trained federal agent messes it up….it\’s the details that are important when it comes to national security, because it was messing up the details that caused the feds to completely miss the Eunuch Bomber.

It\’s actually pretty simple.  I\’ve heard more best practices on bathroom behavior than I really care to admit, even if it does relate to firearms.  Everyone has their preferred method, because nothing wants to be the cause of the dreaded \”CLUNK! Clatter, Clatter, Clatter\”.

One popular method is the shoe….take off your shoe, put the firearm in it, do your business.  The idea being nobody is going to forget walking out without their shoe.  I\’ve never been a fan of this method due to the simple observation that public restroom floors appear to be scientific experiments dedicating to evolving life all over at the cellular level.  Plus it makes your firearm very visible in the next stall.

Another method is to adopt something akin to Larry Craig\’s patented \”wide stance\”, which prevents your pants from dropping to the floor.  So the firearm on your belt remains up by your knees.  It\’s still attached to you, it\’s not visible.  Simple.  I was a big fan of this method until the US Senate\’s singular contribution that fateful year was to inform me that this was a way to proposition US Senator\’s in neighboring stalls.  Having been screwed over by enough politicians as it is, I\’ve since abandoned this method.

Another popular method, is the \”Is that a gun in your crotch….\” in which you place the firearm in the crotch of your pants.  You can\’t pull up your pants and not remember your firearm.  It\’s secure and away from the view of neighbors.  Pretty simple.

Now that\’s probably more information than you care to hear.  But the point is that these are all pretty simple.  If you ask any responsible permit holder, he/she can probably tell you what method they use if you care to ask.  Because they\’ve all thought it over ahead of time so they don\’t make this boneheaded mistake, because not being part of the privileged elite, they would get in trouble otherwise.

Which isn\’t to say that the fate of the country\’s national security rests on the bathroom habits of our customs agents, but it does indicate a rather lackadaisical attitude towards the details.  And as we all found out on Christmas, details matter.

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