Category Archives: AR-15

Supreme Court Allows Sandy Hook Families’ Case Against Remington Arms To Proceed

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With Tuesday’s order from the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys for the plaintiffs will be able to test whether a gun company can be held liable for how it markets a firearm that is later used in a crime. READ MORE

bushmaster

SOURCE: NPR, Bill Chappell, et al.

The Supreme Court has denied Remington Arms Co.’s bid to block a lawsuit filed by families of victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting. The families say that Remington should be held liable. Remington manufactured the Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle that Adam Lanza used in the shooting.

In a decision that was announced Tuesday morning, the court opted not to hear the gun-maker’s appeal. The justices did not include any comment about the case, Remington Arms Co. v. Soto, as they turned it away.

Remington had appealed to the highest federal court after the Connecticut Supreme Court allowed the Sandy Hook lawsuit to proceed in March. In recent court filings, Remington says the case “presents a nationally important question” about U.S. gun laws — namely, how to interpret the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which grants broad immunity to gun-makers and dealers from prosecution over crimes committed with their products.

The families first filed their lawsuit in December 2014, saying the Bushmaster rifle never should have been sold to the public because it is a military-style weapon. They accuse Remington of violating Connecticut’s unfair trade practices law when it “knowingly marketed and promoted the Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle for use in assaults against human beings.”

While the suit initially centered on a claim of negligent entrustment — or providing a gun to someone who plans to commit a crime with it — the case now hinges on how Remington marketed the gun.

The 2005 federal law that shields gun companies from liability has several exceptions — including one allowing lawsuits against a gun-maker or seller that knowingly violates state or federal laws governing how a product is sold or marketed.

In the case’s first major test, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled in a 4-3 decision that Remington cannot be held liable for simply selling its AR-style Bushmaster XM15-E2S rifle. However, they also ruled that the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act includes an exception that allows the lawsuit to be brought against the company’s marketing practices.

“Congress did not intend to immunize firearms suppliers who engage in truly unethical and irresponsible marketing practices promoting criminal conduct,” the court said. “It falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case rise to the level of illegal trade practices and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet.”

At trial, Sandy Hook families cited examples of what they believe are “unethical, oppressive, immoral, and unscrupulous” advertisements that extol the “the militaristic and assaultive qualities of the rifle.” Furthermore, they argued, the Sandy Hook shooter was “especially susceptible to militaristic marketing” due to his aspirations of being in the military.

In filings with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Sandy Hook families say Remington “published promotional materials that promised ‘military-proven performance’ for a ‘mission-adaptable’ shooter in need of the ‘ultimate combat weapons system.’ ” They also accuse the company of fostering a “lone gunman” narrative as it promoted the Bushmaster, citing an ad that proclaimed, “Forces of opposition, bow down. You are single-handedly outnumbered.”

Another source cited comments from Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. Gottlieb: “This suit is just plain wrong and should never have been allowed to proceed.” Gottlieb called that rationale “absurd” at the time.

“Did the advertising even remotely suggest that the Bushmaster is best for murdering people?” Gottlieb asked. “That’s a stretch of credulity worthy of surgical elastic. There is no evidence the killer was driven by any advertising whatsoever. This is an affront to the First Amendment as well as the Second. Even hinting that the killer was motivated in some way by an advertising message is so far out in the weeds that it may take a map for the court to find its way back.”

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up Remington’s appeal, the case will return to a lower court in Connecticut.

 

RELOADERS CORNER: Learning To Load Again, Three

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As with many technical ventures, ultimately attaining best success is all in the details. Here are a few never to overlook in the process of learning to reload rifle ammunition. READ MORE

learning to reload

Glen Zediker

First, I thank you all for responding as well as you have to this little series. I appreciate the kind comments. I know that there are many eager for me to get back to the fine points, the advanced measures, but I also hope reflecting on what I taught my son likewise has caused some pause for reflection in your own processes.

Although it may be back with other installments as things progress, I’ll finish this little series for now by going over a few process particulars that, in part, my son had more difficulty getting the hang of and, also, those that I think are absolutely mandatory to teach and coach to a new handloader, especially in creating ammo for a semi-automatic centerfire.

Case Lube
Learning how much is too much and how little is too little is an easier step if you’re using a high-quality, high-performance case lube. I know from past experience addressing this topic in Reloaders Corner that we have differing opinions amongst the readership as to the best formulation for this essential step. For me it’s always been one of the “rub-on” lubes, like Redding’s Imperial Sizing Die Wax or Forster Case Sizing Lube. I like the control, speed, and ease of die operation those products give me. However! I will freely and quickly also tell you that a lube applied using a roll-over type pad or spray delivery takes a lot of the “feel” out of this process, and that’s not always a bad thing.

learning to reload
There’s different products and ways and means to apply case lube. No matter what or which you choose, it takes some trial and error to learn how much to apply.

The rub-ons are so slick feeling that it’s tempting to use too little. I treat each case with a fresh dab. Charlie figured out that really wasn’t necessary, that he could go two or three without having to reup and reapply the lube to his fingers. These lubes continue to indicate, based on feel, that there’s an adequate coating, until he dang near almost stuck a case. He was correct, at least one more use per reload was possible, but there’s a measure of consistency in starting the same with each case prior to sizing. I pointed out that there was no harm done in a more ample coating because it was coming back off anyway. And then, of course, he asked about the pressure-induced dimples he was getting from using too much of it! Right: one extreme to the other. There’s a feel to this process, but it’s a balance pretty easily managed — as long as you’re not trying to see how little case lube you can get away with.

Sizing Die Set
The first on the list of “always” was learning to set the sizing die to accept those lubed cases. I mentioned this briefly before, but I am absolutely adamant about using a cartridge case headspace gage to adust the amount of sizing each case gets. I’m talking about case shoulder set back. I did a piece some time ago here about the challenge of loading the “same” ammo for use in different rifles, which are near about certain to have at least slight variations in chamber headspace. Compromise has to favor the gun that needs the most shoulder set back, and we hope there’s not a huge difference across the rack of rifles we’re using this ammo in.

learning to reload
This tool is a great investment and strongly recommended: Hornady LNL headspace gage. It’s how to set a sizing die for maximum utility and minimum case stress.

I promise it was not due to any sort of parental retaliation for misdeeds in the past, but I let Charlie start off with a brand new disassembled sizing die.

Setting set back is a tedious process that requires numerous checks. We use a Hornady LNL gage. We measured a few different spent cases from a few different rifles and, fortunately, didn’t have much variation (about 0.002). We took cases from the shortest chamber and set them back 0.004, which is what I usually recommend, and accepting that meant some were getting pushed a little more than ideal, but all were still well (well) away from the maximum the sizing die would give. That’s where the die is sitting now. I don’t recommend cutting it too close for reuse in something like an AR15. I won’t launch into a detailed look into either of those single topic-points, but following the die setup instructions that come with most sizing dies will result in what I say is excessive set back. So even a compromise still meant we were getting the least amount of brass working in sizing, and (mostly) ensuring safe and reliable function. We started with once-fired cases all from the same ammo lot, by the way.

Priming Ain’t Easy
Once again, this topic has been addressed here by me a few different times and ways in these pages, but teaching someone how to correctly, and safely, set and seat primers is best done with a “hand tool.” It doesn’t have to be a zoot-capri benchrest specialty item, but, well, to make a long story short: using the bench-mounted tools I had on hand (and trying three different ones) Charlie was retrieving and retaining essentially none of the finesse I was trying my best to explain — “Feel the primer come to a stop on the bottom of the pocket and then compress the anvil…” And it’s even harder using a press-mounted device. With anything (that I’ve used) besides a hand tool there’s too much leverage over too short a stroke to feel the progress and end of a well seated primer.

learning to reload

learning to reload
Learning to seat primers correctly is key, and something like this will teach you all you need to know about that process. This Lee-brand hand tool is not expensive but it honestly seats primers as well as anything I’ve yet used. There’s an overage of leverage in other style tools and that precludes developing the feel necessary to ensure consistent success.

We’re not nearly shooting Benchrest, but for the sake of consistent ammo performance and safety all primers should be seated well, which is to say well-seated. And, especially for a semi-auto, they all must be seated to below flush with the case head.

I handed him said hand tool and after a scant half dozen experiences, he had it down pat. A serious light went on and smile appeared: Oh! Moving then to bench-mounted tool he had learned what he needed to know, or had felt what he needed to feel, and instinctively slowed down and lightened up and got the same good results. The lesson here is that if you’ve never used a low-leverage hand-operated priming tool, try one. You might not want to stay with it, especially when faced with the small mountain of brass such as we collect for processing, but it will teach a thing or three.

One not so minor point we all have to learn, and definitely don’t want this one to be learned the hard way, is taking care when using primer feeds (trays and tubes).

Suitable Seating
The last thing on my list of “things that stood out” in this process of teaching Charlie to reload was setting up the bullet seater.

learning to reload

learning to reload
Another valuable gage is one that gives a way to know at which cartridge overall length the bullet touches the lands or rifling. Do not assume that because it fits into the magazine box that it’s good to go!

With an AR15, or any rifle with a detachable box magazine, the clear overall cartridge length limit is defined by what will fit into the box. There’s more to it than that. Different bullets have differnent profiles and ogive dimensions. This influences how far from the lands or rifling the first point of bullet major diameter (that which coincides with land diameter) will be when the round is chambered. I recently wrote about having some “sticking bullets” in a rifle. This was a factory load but the bullet profile, overall cartridge length combination exceeded clearance — the bullets were jammed into the lands. Not what you want, unless of course you know what’s what you want (and that’s another topic entirely).

A fair number of .224-caliber bullets may touch the lands if seated to an overall cartridge length that fits the magazine box, if that’s the only criteria used to determine round length. These have to be seated more deeply, resulting, of course, in a shorter overall round length.

Never (ever) assume! Mil-spec, and most other, .223 Rem. rounds, for instance, will have the ballpark 2.250 inch length (in my notes the max is 2.260) that closely but adequately clears the box walls, but some I’ve used have to be down a good 0.025 under that to avoid sticking the bullet into the lands. I’ve seen this be most prevalent in lighter weight varmint-style bullets. Check it to make sure. And, as long as there is a gap between the bullet and the lands, all is fine.

The tool to use is a Hornady LNL OAL Gage. Once again, the only measuring tool needed for use with either of the gages mentioned is a decent caliper.

Check out hand priming tools at Midsouth HERE

OAL and Headspace gages HERE

The preceding is a adapted from information contained in from Glen’s books Top-Grade Ammo and Handloading For Competition. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.

RELOADERS CORNER: Learning to Load Again, pt. two

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In handloading, there’s always another gage or means to measure. But which really matter, and when and why? READ MORE

reloading measuring tools
All you really need. And a few gages to index it off of. Read on!

Glen Zediker

Last time I started on a recollection of a recent event, which was a project (that is ongoing) teaching my son Charlie how to reload ammunition for his AR15.

As said then, learning to set up tooling is intertwined with learning to measure pertinent dimensions, and that experience involves learning to use measuring tools, and choosing which ones to use. That led to a look at the most essential and indispensable measuring tool of all: the caliper.

There’s more tools to be had, and to be used, to be sure.

As he was looking through my boxed and binned collection of tools I had fetched out for the project, he had a lot of “what’s that’s” and “when do we need this’s” and I kept telling him what it was, what it did, and that we didn’t really need it for what we were doing.

Most of that other stuff was measuring tools, very specialized measuring tools, gages. A commonly recommended tool for a handloader’s kit is a micrometer. These use a threaded barrel that’s turned in to a stop to measure the thickness or length of something (any lateral measurement). A “mic” is a more precise tool than a caliper, usually reading down another step, into the 0.0001 inches range.

reloading measuring tools
If you get a micrometer, digital is a lot easier to use, but I really don’t think you NEED a micrometer!

A mic is useful for measuring bullet diameters, for instance, or sizing die expander buttons. A specialized mic, called an inside or tubing micrometer, is the most precise way to measure case wall thicknesses. These have a ball end to more accurately mate with the curved shape of a case neck.

As with calipers, mics can be either manual or digital. Digital is a whopping lot easier to read, mostly faster to read, because there’s another layer of graduations to count toward an answer, in effect, on the barrel of a manual mic. No shock, a good mic usually costs more than an equally good caliper.

I can’t count too high recollecting the times I’ve used my mic in handloading. I use it more building rifles, measuring trigger pin diameters and the like.

reloading measuring tools
Something like this Forster tool can perform valuable quality checks. Here it’s being used to measure case neck wall thickness.

For me, the more useful means to check and note neck wall thicknesses (probably the most commonly applied use of a micrometer by in-depth handloaders) is a specialty gage that works off a dial indicator. These have a ball-end like an inside mic. Then the quality of the dial indicator matters a whopping lot. Good ones are expensive, but, in my experience, worth it. Take extreme careful care of your dial indicator!

reloading measuring tools
Something like this neck wall thickness gage from Hornady is not as perfectly precise as a tubing mic, but sho is faster to use. It all depends on how ticky anyone wants to get.

That measuring device, the dial indicator, is the heart of a few other measurement fixtures I’ve used, like a concentricity fixture to check the runout of cases or loaded rounds. One of these “spinners” is a good investment for someone who wants to get a little farther along toward perfecting ammunition, or at least being able to segregate it. The expense isn’t great, and the collected and applied results can be most beneficial. Most of these also provide a means to configure the appliance to check and record neck wall or case wall thicknesses. The accuracy is, as suggested, dependent on the quality of the dial indicator. Since most indicators have a “standard” 1/4-in. diameter shank, it’s usually possible to ramp up a fixture to incorporate a higher-precision dial if wanted.

reloading measuring tools
A good dial indicator makes the most of any tool based on one.

I have owned and used a good number of seriously specialized measurement tools. I unfortunately can’t say they ever really helped, or at least they didn’t help me for the targets I was facing. Long range and Benchrest shooters tend to be behind the development and production of tools such as bullet bearing surface comparators. As anticipated, this contraption actually measures and compares bearing surface area bullet to bullet. As with a more common caliper-mounted comparator, the idea is to measure through a box of bullets and segregate them into batches. The idea is that the bullets that are more nearly the same will perform more nearly the same on target. Whether those efforts are going to manifest in a smaller group is a combination of ammunition component quality to start, rifle component quality, and, no doubt, shooter skill.

reloading measuring tools
Here’s a bullet bearing surface comparator, the most specialized such device I have. Such measuring tools come about from attempting to attain near perfection. Most of us, shooting most guns at most targets, won’t see any difference.

I’ve known folks to check bullets using an electromagnetic appliance to gauge concentricity and, some think, much more respecting the internal structure and balance of each bullet measured. If you’ve never seen or heard of one, check out a Vern Juenke Bullet Inspector. Some say voodoo, some say magic. I can’t say I saw any difference.

reloading measuring tools
Here’s a Juenke. There’s still no verdict on exactly what it is that it does, but some swear by it!

So, meandering back to the point of this: all these different measuring tools and appliances do have specific points and places in handloading. These points and places can and have been, and no doubt will again be topics for specific articles.

Beyond that good caliper, though, there’s a very short list of measuring tools I will recommend as “must haves.” Top of that list is a cartridge headspace gage (which is used with that caliper). That’s beyond wise. Beyond that, a good concentricity fixture with a decent dial indicator might actually give some feedback that will improve a group for the most of us. Another is a bullet comparator, useful for those who want to do seating depth experiments, along with a gage to determine the distance to the lands in the barrel.

However, it is possible to load x-ring ammo without ever operating a micrometer. Promise!

Check out Forster spinner HERE 

Check out neck wall thickness gage  HERE 

Check out micrometers HERE 

The preceding is a adapted from information contained in from Glen’s books Top-Grade Ammo and Handloading For Competition. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.

 

 

SKILLS: Too Much Gun For Home Defense?

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Should you consider an AR-platform firearm for home defense, or are there better choices, and why? READ MORE

ar15 home defense
If you find yourself facing a deadly threat in your home, make sure you have enough gun and that you know how to use it.

SOURCE: Springfield-Armory Armory Life, Tom McHale

According to the media, no one could possibly need something like a “weapon of war” as a home defense firearm. Then again, it was television and movie people who came up with that whole idea of shooting the gun out of the bad guy’s hand.

If you’re reading this, you already know that an AR does not differ from any other type of firearm. It has different pros and cons and is suitable for some jobs more than others. In my view, one area where it shines is in the role of home defense firearm. More specifically, it’s the AR pistol that presents an option worthy of serious consideration.

ar15 home defense

Before we get into specifics, we ought to invest a hot second talking about why an AR makes a good home defense option. Contrary to popular assumption, a standard .223/5.56mm projectile isn’t a penetration beast. In fact, a standard 55-grain FMJ bullet will penetrate fewer walls or pieces of furniture than most any pistol round. The combination of a small and light projectile and high velocity creates a ballistic sweet spot where bullets quickly begin to fragment and tumble. But be prepared; it will be loud.

With that said, let’s consider a few AR pistol attributes that support a home defense role for it.

Ease of Use
The most important factor is ease of use, and I’m not talking about the controls. Of course, any gun requires training to use effectively in a high-stress situation, and an AR-type arguably has more controls to understand and master than a smaller handgun. I’m talking about ease of hitting a target while under stress.

However, longer guns in general are far more forgiving to fire than small handguns thanks to their weight and sight radius. A slight offset from perfect sight alignment just doesn’t matter that much when shooting a longer gun at defensive distances. A slight sight misalignment with a smaller handgun can cause a complete miss and it happens all the time. Note the shockingly low percentage of hits versus shots fired in police shooting statistics. It’s not because they’re all bad shooters. It’s a result of trying to master handgun technique under extreme stress.

A heavier gun, like an AR pistol, is also easier to shoot accurately thanks to its weight to trigger force ratio. A handgun with a 5.5-pound trigger that weighs 2 pounds wants to move during an aggressive, adrenaline-induced trigger press. Thanks to inertia, a 6-pound AR pistol with a 5.5-pound trigger will move a lot less under identical circumstances.

Size and Balance
An AR rifle makes a great home defense weapon. The only real downside is its weight, length and challenge of operating with one hand. The AR pistol, on the other hand, brings the same benefits to a smaller and more maneuverable package. As an example, the Springfield Armory SAINT Edge rifle is 35.75? long fully extended and 32.5? with the stock collapsed. The SAINT Edge Pistol shown here can operate with an overall length of just 24.6? with wrist brace collapsed and 28.5? opened up. Those are just numbers, and they don’t sound like much, but the handling difference in the real world is significant.

Capacity
With standard capacity of 30 rounds, that’s a lot more than even a large handgun like the XD-M OSP. No one who ever survived a self-defense encounter ever complained about having rounds left over in the magazine, right?

ar15 home defense
No one has ever complained about having too much ammo, and a 30-round magazine like this can be very comforting when you need it.

Authority
I hate terms like “stopping” or “knockdown” power. They’re terribly misleading and lead to a false sense of security. However, according to both math and street science, most any rifle round puts the performance of most any pistol round to shame in violent encounters. If your life depends on stopping one or more aggressors quickly, a rifle caliber round improves your odds of success dramatically. Yes, projectiles fired from an AR pistol do leave the muzzle at a lower velocity than those fired from full-length rifles, but if we’re comparing an AR pistol to a handgun-caliber pistol, there’s still a significant energy difference.

ar15 home defense
Short and handy yet powerful, an AR pistol can be a very capable home defender.

Accessories
We have all sorts of reliable options for lights and lasers on traditional handguns, so an AR pistol doesn’t technically bring any additional capability to the table there. What it does offer is more flexibility in terms of how they’re mounted and used. Most, like the SAINT Edge pistol shown here, have rails or attachment mounting points all along the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.

Additionally, an AR pistol is perfect for optics use. With an “always on” red dot, you’ve got a great sighting option for any light conditions. Dark, daylight, or anywhere in between.

ar15 home defense
Firearms like the SAINT Edge Pistol make mounting accessories like this Streamlight TLR-1 in a variety of locations quite easy.

The Bottom Line
Don’t write off the AR, especially an AR pistol, as nonviable for home defense simply because of the hearsay that gets passed along at gun store counters. They can be a great choice for this role, and offer you a lot of advantages.

Learn more about the Saint HERE

Tom McHale is a perpetual student of all things gun and shooting related. He’s particularly passionate about self and home defense and the rights of all to protect themselves and their loved ones. As part of his ongoing learning, Tom has completed dozens of training programs and is a certified National Rifle Association instructor for pistol and shotgun. Tom is a professional writer by trade these days and has published seven books on guns, shooting, reloading, concealed carry, and holsters. In between book projects, Tom has published somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,700 articles for about a dozen gun and shooting publications. If he’s not writing, you can probably find him on the range.

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual. These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory.

 

Confiscation or “Mandatory Buyback”?

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If it looks like a duck… READ MORE

gun confiscation

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

It is interesting to watch certain Democrats struggle when trying to convince law-abiding gun owners how “reasonable” it is for the government to take away your firearms. Do the anti-gun groups and candidates pushing confiscation honestly believe you’ll be fooled?

The Democrat plan to confiscate your firearms isn’t in question. In fact, the plan was laid bare by Robert Francis O’Rourke when, during the third Democrat Presidential Debates, he proclaimed, “Hell yes, we’re gonna take your AR-15, your AK47….” Prior to this broadcast, most Democrats were more subtle, promoting what they euphemistically called a “mandatory buy-back” program for most semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns (so-called “assault weapons”). In the hope of capturing voters, they opted to soothe instead of share, and continually shied away from admitting the true goal: confiscation.

But as the saying goes, if it looks like a duck…

Leading up to the fourth Democrat debate, the effort to disguise confiscation as something else continued. Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, complained in an interview with Snapchat’s Good Luck America about the Democrats’ “fight over confiscation,” which was distracting from other, more palatable infringements on your Second Amendment rights. Buttigieg’s comment seemed to be a continuation of his spat with O’Rourke earlier this month in Las Vegas.

After the Good Luck America interview was released, another Democrat presidential “hopeful,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, decided he needed to chastise Buttigieg for simply telling the truth. Booker tweeted, “Calling buyback programs ‘confiscation’ is doing the NRA’s work for them, @PeteButtigieg — and they don’t need our help.” Interestingly, Booker didn’t challenge the idea that “mandatory buyback” schemes, which he proudly supports, and confiscation are really the same thing. His complaint was over the accepted terminology for confiscation, not the confiscation itself.

Of course, part of NRA’s “work” is exposing the lies of the anti-gun movement, and bringing the truth to light. We welcome any “help” in that arena, even if it comes from hyperbolic Democrats who fundamentally misunderstand firearms. Buttigieg may be wrong about promoting other anti-gun policies, but at least he is honest about another Democrat’s desire for confiscation.

To be clear, though, he hasn’t said that he is entirely opposed to confiscation. He’s merely said he is opposed to talking about it right now.

And that kind of makes sense, politically. The four Democrat candidates that are leading in the polls–Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Buttigieg–have all referred to supporting a “voluntary buyback” scheme, rather than confiscation. Booker, O’Rourke, and California Senator Kamala Harris have all called for confiscation, and are all struggling in the low- to mid-single digits.

This week, during the fourth debate, banning AR-15s and other “assault weapons” was again brought up. And the sparks flew between Bittigieg and O’Rourke.

Moderator Anderson Cooper asked O’Rourke how his “mandatory buyback” would work if, as O’Rourke has claimed, police would not be going door-to-door to confiscate firearms. After insulting every single lawful owner of an AR-15 by claiming their firearm is a “potential instrument of terror,” “Beto” then stated he expects everyone to simply follow the law.

And that may very well be the case, for those who wish to remain law-abiding. But those who have malice in mind will not. Those who have acquired the tools of their criminal trade illegally will not. And while NRA strongly encourages gun owners to obey gun laws and work to change those with which they disagree, there are many otherwise law-abiding citizens who, when faced with a law they feel is unjust or unconstitutional, will simply not comply.

Cooper pressed O’Rourke to explain how he intends to treat those who currently own AR-15s and similar firearms, and do not turn them in, if his ban were to become law. The candidate said, “If someone does not turn in an AR-15…then that weapon will be taken from them.”

…if it swims like a duck…

O’Rourke went beyond mere confiscation, though, and offered a chilling, Swalwell-like statement about “other consequences from law enforcement.”

Mayor Buttigieg was given an opportunity to speak on the subject, where he made clear that the confiscation plan is not off the table for him. He suggested that if O’Rourke could come up with a more developed scheme, “I think we can have a debate about it.” Harkening back to the anti-gun rally in Las Vegas earlier this month, when O’Rourke all but called Buttigieg a coward for not currently supporting confiscation, the South Bend Mayor slapped down the failed Texas Senate candidate when he stated, “I don’t need lessons from you on courage.”

Before the back-and-forth between Buttigieg and O’Rourke devolved into a full-blown slap-fight, Cooper allowed some of the other candidates on the stage to weigh in on banning semi-automatic firearms.

Senator Booker pretended to be concerned about how the candidates “talk to each other and about each other,” then began talking about his gun licensing scheme without talking about the confiscation plan he has already stated he supports.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar talked about a number of anti-gun proposals, did not say that she specifically opposes confiscation, but has stated in the past that she supports “voluntary buybacks,” rather than confiscation.

Senator Warren talked about treating semi-automatic firearms like AR-15s the same as fully-automatic firearms, invoking the registration and taxation scheme under the National Firearms Act (NFA). She also called for an end to the filibuster in the Senate to help ram through gun control legislation.

Senator Harris then grossly underestimated the number of so-called “assault weapons,” saying there are only five million, when most estimates put the number at over 15 million for just AR-15s. Perhaps she is trying to minimize the impact her anti-gun efforts will have on law-abiding Americans by lying about how many will be affected. She also repeated her audacious plan of using her executive authority as President to do what has already been done. While she didn’t actually say she supports confiscation on the debate stage this week, she has stated support for it in the past.

Former Vice President Biden stumbled through his statement next. He talked about the failed Clinton gun ban of 1994-2004 — trying to take sole credit for its passage — brought up registering AR-15s under the NFA–presumably to show he doesn’t support confiscation–and spoke of repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).

The last candidate given an opportunity to speak about confiscation was former HUD Secretary Julián Castro. He stated he is opposed to confiscation because he does not want to see police going door-to-door to implement the policy, as he expressed concerns over “police violence.”

So, while some candidates sparred over what to call the confiscation scheme, others made clear their opposition to it…for now.

…and if it quacks like a duck…

While the Democrat debate ended Tuesday night, the debate over what to call gun confiscation continues. In fact, on MSNBC the following day, O’Rourke spoke to Joe Scarborough to make sure everyone understood his position; and his preferred terminology. While Scarborough correctly referred to the plan as confiscation, O’Rourke claimed it was not, and continually referred to a “buyback.”

Scarborough labored to get the candidate to admit confiscation is his goal, suggesting a hypothetical Texas rancher who simply does not feel a ban on AR-15s is just or constitutional. In response, O’Rourke said that, as with any law, “there have to be consequences,” and in Scarborough’s hypothetical scenario, “there would be a visit by law enforcement.”

Look, if you have to send law enforcement to someone’s house to remove their lawfully acquired property under threat of penalty, you can try to say that’s NOT confiscation…

…but it is probably a duck.

 

Dick’s Spends Big on Gun-Chopping, Virtue-Signaling Bonanza (But It Will Still Sell You a Firearm)

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Hypocrisy and hype are now the hallmarks of Dick’s Sporting Goods. READ MORE

dicks

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Ed Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, wants you to know he’s committed to keeping AR-15s “off the street.” But he’s also committed (for the time being) to selling other types of firearms.

That’s the genius of Ed Stack. He’s perfectly capable of holding two contradictory opinions at the same time. He’ll take one sort of gun buyer’s money and then lecture another on the evils of firearms.

We call that being a hypocrite.

But for Ed Stack, it’s just being Dick’s.

Recently, Ed took to the airwaves to explain in an interview with CBS News how he made his decision upon finding out that the criminal responsible for the Parkland attack had previously purchased a shotgun from Dick’s. If you tried to follow the “reasoning” of the conversation (if not the words actually spoken), it went something like this:

Ed: We sold the bad guy a shotgun. And I said, “We’re done.’”

Reporter: But that wasn’t the gun he used.

Ed: But it could have been.

Reporter: So you were done with shotguns.

Ed: No, we were done with AR-15s.

Reporter: So you sold the bad guy an AR-15, too?

Ed: No, but we could have.

Reporter: So you’re not selling AR-15s or shotguns.

Ed: No, we’re just not selling AR-15s.

Reporter: But you said he could have used a shotgun.

Ed: That’s right.

Reporter: But you’re still selling shotguns.

Ed: That’s right. But we’re not selling AR-15s.

Ed went on to say that he figured at the time his voluntary gun control policies would cost the company about a “quarter of a billion dollars” in losses. He turned out to be right, or pretty close, he noted.

And he continued by explaining that after removing $5 million worth of perfectly good, perfectly lawful semi-automatic rifles from Dick’s inventory, he turned them into scrap metal.

Why?

Because, according to Ed Stack, “If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them.”

We don’t think Dick’s ever considered just leaving the guns out on the street.

But even if Ed believed that the federally-mandated background check process was an inadequate safeguard to keep the semi-automatic rifles “off of the street,” he had options other than destroying valuable company property at company expense.

He could have, for example, donated the guns to cash-strapped law enforcement agencies across the country. Then they could have been used to help round up real crime guns from real criminals on the street and elsewhere. Maybe Dick’s could have even qualified for a tax deduction.

Instead, for all Ed knows, the scrap metal might just be melted down and repurposed into new semi-automatic rifles for sale by a competitor who defers to the choices of its law-abiding customers, not to the choices of gun control advocates who don’t shop at firearm retailers.

Ed Stack told CBS News the future of gun sales at Dick’s is under “strategic review.” So far, he’s removed all firearms from more than 100 of the company’s 720 stores.

Meanwhile, many gun buyers and Second Amendment supporters have removed all of their business from all of the company’s stores. As Hot Air reports, “Three years ago the company’s stock was trading at 60 bucks per share. This week it’s hovering around 38 dollars.”

 

Ted Cruz: Corporate Gun Control Is ‘Social Signaling at the Country Club’

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) responded to 145 companies pushing for more gun laws by suggesting corporate gun control is “social signaling at the country club.”

ted cruz

SOURCE: Breitbart, AWR Hawkins

On September 12, Breitbart News reported the GAP, Levi Strauss, Pinterest, Twitter, Yelp, and 140 other companies sent a letter to Congress asking for universal background checks and legislation allowing court orders to seize firearms.

The Hill reports that Cruz responded to the letter while attending a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday. He said, “I don’t think it’s a positive thing to see big corporations shifting their focus from their customers and actually doing what they were created to do into trying to become political players on divisive social issues.”

Cruz observed that the corporate gun control push “is about social signaling at the country club.”

Without revealing the name of the financial institution, Cruz spoke about one bank that removed its name from a gun control push after learning more about what was really going on.

He said, “I will note with at least one of those banks that came out with one of those oh-so-brave corporate letters, when I sat down with their leadership and actually asked them about it, the people who wrote the letter didn’t know the first thing about the substance.”

Cruz said he asked the bank CEO to define/detail an “assault rifle,” and the CEO could not do it.

Cruz then referenced the September 12 letter signed by 145 companies and said, “I promise you the people signing this letter they don’t know any of the details of [the gun controls they are pushing] either.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range.

RELOADERS CORNER: Learning To Load Again, pt. 1

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Whether you’ve been loading for 50 years or 5 minutes, it’s a good idea to revist the basics from time to time. READ MORE

Glen Zediker

[I know that my readership for this column has a pretty broad range of experience, and, therefore, a broad topic-interest range, plus expectations on what I hope to communicate or relay. I’ve been asked both to go into more details about specialized processes and procedures and also to stick more with broader topics, and keep it simple. Can’t win on all topics each edition with everyone, so I do my best to mix it up. This one is leaning heavily toward simple, but, as always, I hope there’s something to absorb, or at least think about.]

A few issues back I wrote about how I had been teaching my son how to reload. After doing all this for so long (I started when I was 15) and likewise going fairly far “into it” over many years, the basics are pretty much ingrained in me. That doesn’t mean, in no way, that I don’t have to check myself or remind myself (which usually comes after the checks) to follow the procedures and the rules to the letter.

calipers

Short digression into the backstory on this project: Charlie wanted to reload for the very same reasons I got my start in this process. For his 18th birthday, he became the proud owner of a retro-replica “M16A1.” This was his choice, of all the choices he could have made, because it’s an “original.” Of course, his is a semi-auto with only two selector stops, but otherwise is straight from the late 1960s. He found out right quick like and in a hurry that it was a hungry gun, and, as an equally hungry shooter, the need for feed exceeded the factory ammo budget in short order.

Back to the project: So when I set out to teach Charlie how to produce his own ammunition, I sat back a while (a good long while, and longer than I imagined) and ran it all through my mind and realized that I knew so much about it that it was hard to know where to start. Now! That’s not some sort of brag, just the facts, and the same would be said for most of you reading this. I knew so much about it because there’s so much to know! Handloading is a multi-faceted task, made up of many (many) tasks, all and each important.

So where did I start? With a breakdown of the cartridge itself. Which components did what, when, and how. And, of course, the long list of “always, only, and never.” This article isn’t about a step by step on how to load, but in going over the separate points, point by point, some things stood out as more or less easy to communicate, and more or less easy for my son to grasp (related no doubt).
I know that my readership for this column has a pretty broad range of experience, and, therefore, a broad topic-interest range, plus expectations on what I hope to communicate or relay. I’ve been asked both to go into more details about specialized processes and procedures and also to stick more with broader topics, and keep it simple. Can’t win on all topics each edition with everyone, so I do my best to mix it up. This one is leaning heavily toward simple, but, as always, I hope there’s something to absorb, or at least think about.

Setting up the tooling to get started on our project, I had Charlie do it all himself. One of the very first points to pass heading up the learning curve was learning to measure.

Depending on someone’s background and specific experience, something like operating a measuring tool can range from old-hat to no-clue.

calipers
A caliper is an essential, absolute must-have tool for reloading. It doesn’t have to be the best to be entirely good enough. We need to measure to 0.001, so get one that does that. Make sure it’s steel so it will hold up.

Honestly, the only measuring tool you really need to handload is a dial caliper. You’ll use this to measure cartridge case overall length, over cartridge length, case neck outside diameter, and also to check the results of a few difference gages, like a cartridge case headspace gage.

That, therefore, was the first tool he learned how to operate.

Here’s a question I had to answer, and it’s a good question to be answered especially for those unfamiliar with measuring tools. That question is how “hard” to push on the tool to take a read. How to know that the reading is correct.

It’s full and flush contact, but not force. It’s as if the part being measured was making the same contact as if it were sitting on the benchtop: full, flush contact but no pressure. In measuring some of the things we measure, like bullets, and considering the increments of the reads, pressure against the tool can influence the read if the material surface is actually compressed. That’s from flex. I usually very gently wiggle the part being measured to feel if the contact with the tool is flush, that there’s no skew involved. There is, no doubt, some feel involved in measuring. I know some say that there should be pressure to get an accurate reading, and I would agree if we’re measuring materials that are harder than bullet jackets and brass cases. But again, it is decidedly possible to flex and actually displace soft materials if there’s too much pressure applied to snug down caliper jaws or mic heads. Get a feel for flush, the point just when the movement stops firmly and fully.

calipers
Measuring correctly and accurately involves feel, which comes from experience. Contact must be flush but not flexed!

Caliper Quality
More about the tool itself: My experience has been that there’s really no difference in the at-hand accuracy of more expensive measuring tools, especially a caliper.

calipers
Tips: Don’t store the caliper with the jaws fully closed. Keep it clean. Keep it cased. Make sure to zero the caliper (dial or digital) before every session.

Digital is great, but not at all necessary. Digital is not more accurate or precise, it’s just “easier.” As with a scale, it really depends on how much you plan on using it. If you’re going to measure everything, then digital is better because it’s faster to read — there’s no dial-mark interpretation involved. If you only want to check neck diameters and case lengths when you’re setting up your tools, then a dial-style is entirely adequate.

Get steel! Something that reads to 0.001 inches.

There are several industry-branded dial and digital calipers from Lyman, Hornady, RCBS, MEC, and more, available here at Midsouth. These range from $30-50 or so. They are all good, and they all are entirely adequate. If you want to spend up and get better, Mitutoyo and Starrett are the brands to know. Those easily double that cost.

These tools do wear. All will wear. Better tools wear less for a longer time. Conversations with folks who use calipers, along with other measuring tools, not only daily, but continuously during a day, has taught me to be confident in that statement.

Calipers can measure other things, but there are specialty tools that replace them for specific tasks. For instance, yes, it’s possible to measure case wall thickness with a caliper, but it’s not very precise.

calipers
Hopefully you’ll be able to use your caliper to measure groups like these. It’s really the only tool you need to get them.

Check out Midsouth tools HERE

The preceding is a specially-adapted excerpt from Glen’s book Top-Grade Ammo. Available HERE at Midsouth Shooters Supply. Visit ZedikerPublishing.com for more information on the book itself, and also free article downloads.

California: Governor Newsom Signs Anti-Gun Bills Into Law

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Seven new anti-gun bills are now law in California. Oh wait… And one more Monday makes eight! READ MORE

california

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

Last Friday, Governor Newsom signed seven anti-gun bills into law — continuing the assault on our Second Amendment rights in the Golden State. These new laws pile onto the hundreds of existing laws and, like the others, will be equally ignored by criminals. Your NRA will not back down while we explore further action on these new laws.

Assembly Bill 12, sponsored by Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin (D-44), would extend the duration of California’s “gun violence restraining order” law from one year to a period of up to five years. Meaning a person could be prohibited from owning and possessing firearms for five years at a time without ever being adjudicated as dangerously mentally ill or convicted of a crime.

Assembly Bill 61, sponsored by Assembly Member Philip Ting (D-19), would expand the list of those eligible to file “gun violence restraining orders” beyond the currently authorized petitioners, which include immediate family and law enforcement. The new list is expanded to employers, coworkers and employees of a secondary or postsecondary school that the person has attended in the last 6 months. GVRO’s can remove a person’s Second Amendment rights, not based on criminal convictions or mental health adjudications, but based on third party allegations, often without due process until weeks after a person’s rights have been suspended.

Assembly Bill 879, sponsored by Assembly Member Mike Gipson (D-64), would require precursor firearms parts to be sold/transferred through a licensed precursor parts dealer in a similar process to the new laws regarding ammunition purchases. It would further create a registry of these parts and a new crime for transfer of precursor parts without the involvement of a licensed precursor parts dealer to anyone under 21 years of age or prohibited from owning firearms. Precursor parts include items such as unfinished frames and receivers.

Assembly Bill 893, sponsored by Assembly Member Todd Gloria (D-78), would prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition at the Del Mar fairgrounds located in the 22nd District Agricultural Association on and after January 1, 2021.

Assembly Bill 1297, sponsored by Assembly Member Kevin McCarty (D-7), would remove the maximum fee a local authority can charge on the concealed carry permit application.

Assembly Bill 1669, sponsored by Assembly Member Rob Bonta (D-18), would raise the fees paid by consumers when purchasing firearms. The DROS account has generated a massive surplus at times, so much so that tens of millions of dollars that have been utilized to fund other DOJ programs, including a $24 million dollar loan to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) just a few years ago. This legislation appears nothing more than an effort to put more cost constraints on gun owners to foot the bill for the massive cost pressures the legislature has put on DOJ in recent years including ammunition background checks and long gun registration.

Senate Bill 61, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), as amended would expand California’s existing one handgun a month law to also apply to handguns or centerfire semi-automatic rifles, with limited exceptions. Further the bill expands the prohibition on acquisition of firearms by a person under 21 years of age by eliminating the existing exception for 18-20 year-olds with a valid hunting license.

But that’s not all folks!

California: Anti-Gun and Anti-Hunting Bill Signed into Law

Prior to the October 13 deadline, Governor Newsom signed the final anti-gun and anti-hunting bills, AB 1254 and SB 172 into law. These two bills, combined with the seven anti-gun bills just shown and signed into law on Friday, made it a tough year for gun owners and sportsmen in the Golden State as our Second Amendment Rights and Hunting Heritage were under an all out assault. Your NRA will not back down and will continue to explore further action on these new laws.

Assembly Bill 1254, sponsored by Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-54) would prohibit the ability to hunt, trap or otherwise take a bobcat except in specified circumstances including depredation permits.

Senate Bill 172, sponsored by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-25), would expand California’s existing storage laws and includes harsh penalties, such as a 10 year ban on firearm ownership.

 

 

MSNBC’s Las Vegas Anti-Gun Rally

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Here’s a recap of MSNBC, Giffords, and March for Our Lives political “gun safety forum.” READ MORE

msnbc

SOURCE: NRA-ILA

On October 2, anti-gun news outlet MSNBC, along with their partner organizations Giffords and March for Our Lives, hosted nine Democrat candidates for President for what was billed as a “Gun Safety Forum.” Most of the time was spent by candidates and anti-gun activists railing against guns, NRA, and occasionally, President Donald Trump.

As one can imagine, there really wasn’t much new discussed, as candidates continued to try to convince Democrat voters that each is the most anti-gun choice. At times, it seemed like a fight might break out over who had the most outrageous scheme to disarm law-abiding Americans.

Everyone seemed to agree on “universal” background checks, “red flag” laws, and that there is an “epidemic” of gun violence in our country. But as each candidate took the stage for their individual allotted time, most tried to separate themselves from the others.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, one of the higher polling lower tier candidates, started things off, trying to draw a connection between passing new gun laws and combatting “white nationalism.”

Buttigieg also promoted gun licensing, as well as “red flag” laws and “universal” background checks. Attacking NRA, he made the patently false allegation that our association represents the interests of gun manufacturers, rather than our 5 million dues-paying members.

Mayor Buttigieg also talked about banning semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, making the confusing statement that such things should not be sold “anywhere near an American school or neighborhood.” He seemed to clarify later that he was not talking about limiting where gun stores could operate, but meant he wanted to ban these popular rifles.

While trying to sell the constitutionality of banning some of the most commonly owned firearms in America, he made two bizarre comparisons. First, he said that people can own slingshots, but not nuclear weapons, followed by stating that water balloons are legal, but predator drones are not. It’s hard to imagine a more ridiculous comparison than one between children’s toys and actual weapons of war while discussing the Second Amendment.

His support of banning AR-15s, however, did not, at this time, include support for the type of confiscation scheme that has been promoted by one of the other candidates. More on that later.

Former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro was next. He promoted increasing the tax on ammunition to further drive up its cost and supported the banning of so-called “assault weapons,” but fell short of calling for their confiscation. Instead, he promoted a voluntary “buy-back” scheme, followed by registering those not turned in and tracking their future transfer, similar to the way fully-automatic firearms are currently regulated. While he did not mention fully incorporating them into the National Firearms Act (NFA) protocols, that seemed to be where he was heading.

Next was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. He stated support for banning and confiscating semi-automatic firearms, pushed so-called “safe” storage laws, and promoted his scheme to implement a federal licensing program for gun owners. He went so far as to call out all of his opponents that don’t support his position, claiming anyone who does not support licensing “should not be a nominee from our party.” He then went on to pat himself on the back for pushing “the most ambitious” gun plan.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been leading the pack in some polls, then spoke. She promoted the idea of limiting firearm purchases to one-a-month, and also suggesting a 7-day waiting period before a law-abiding citizen could take possession of a lawfully purchased firearm. She also threatened a federal investigation of NRA — a clear attempt to quash our right to free speech, and that of our more than 5 million members.

Following Warren was former Vice President Joe Biden. While Biden had been the favorite in the race, at one point commanding a lead of more than 25-points over his closest rival, his advantage has all but disappeared. Biden again raised his make-believe idea on gun control — mandating guns that can only operate utilizing “biometric markers.” He also pushed a ban on the manufacture of AR-15s and similar rifles, coupled with regulating those that are currently owned under the NFA. This scheme has been promoted by representatives of Giffords, one of the sponsors of the event, so Biden was clearly playing to the audience.

His presentation was marked by the usual rambling, odd tangents, and self-promoting hyperbole to which we’ve grown accustomed. At one point he stopped in the middle of praising those behind March for Our Lives to clumsily transition to talking about the federal restrictions on hunting migratory waterfowl; pointing out that there is a limit of three shells in your shotgun when in the field. That brought him to discussing putting limits on the number of rounds one can have in other firearms. Biden seems to be struggling with determining an arbitrarily acceptable limit on ammunition capacity, so maybe he’s now testing out the idea of using three.

Former Texas Representative Robert Francis O’Rourke, who self-identifies as “Beto,” took the stage after Biden. He specifically called out Mayor Buttigieg for not supporting his gun confiscation idea, all but calling him a coward. He seemed to imply the same about Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (R-N.Y.) and Senator Chris Coons (D-Del) for their questioning the level of support for the disarmament scheme.

O’Rourke also pushed the popular lie among the anti-gun crowd that AR-15s and similar semi-automatic rifles are “weapons of war.” He even made the outrageously false claim that such firearms are “sold to the militaries of the world.” Of course, this is just an evolution of what gun-ban advocate Josh Sugarmann began promoting in the late ‘80s, when he wrote about so-called “assault weapons”:

“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons — anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun — can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons.”

Of course, millions of law-abiding Americans own semi-automatic rifles, while fully-automatic firearms are strictly regulated under the NFA, and are what is actually “sold to the militaries of the world.”

He also claimed that, when the Second Amendment was ratified, it took “three minutes to reload a musket.” In fact, someone in the 18th century who was familiar with their musket could fire and reload it two- to three-times a minute. While that fact has little to do with the debate over gun control, what O’Rourke ignores is the more relevant fact that those privately owned muskets were no different than the muskets used by those in “the militaries of the world.”

The bottom-tier candidate waited until near the end of his time to break out two of the shticks for which he has become somewhat famous; profanity and high school-level Spanish.

Another bottom-tier candidate, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, was next, although she didn’t really bring anything new to the discussion. She mostly echoed the same, tired gun-control ideas promoted by those who came before her. Perhaps that is why she has been struggling throughout most of her campaign to generate more than 1% support in the polls.

Businessman Andrew Yang, who can’t seem to achieve much more than mid-single digit support in spite of promising to give people “free” money, had some curious ideas. He appeared to support Biden’s “biometric markers” idea, and mentioned expanding on the Booker notion of licensing by promoting a multi-tiered licensing program, although he didn’t offer real details on that while on stage, other than there would be different licenses for different guns.

Yang also mentioned wanting to keep track of people who own multiple firearms, but also offered no details on accomplishing this to the audience.

Two particularly odd ideas stood out. First, in order to counter the impact of organizations like NRA, he suggested giving every American $100.00 of what he referred to as “Democracy Dollars.” People could give this money to lawmakers and candidates to help influence their votes, which sounds a bit like buying votes. While we do not support the notion of buying votes, perhaps Mr. Yang did not consider the fact that NRA has five million members. Does he really want to add more than half-a-billion dollars that could be used to support the campaigns of candidates that support the Second Amendment?

His other odd idea, which may be better described as troubling, was the suggestion that gun manufacturers be fined every time one of their lawful products is used by a criminal. One presumes he is not suggesting the same penalties for the makers of any other lawful products commonly used by criminals. If he did, then he would likely be accused of trying to bankrupt the entire manufacturing industry, rather than just those that manufacture firearms.

One other odd statement he made, but also didn’t go into any real details about, was implying that criminals who use firearms to kill others are somehow victims. This line of thought deserves no additional commentary.

Finally, California Senator Kamala Harris spoke, offering nothing substantively new. She reiterated her desire to use executive action to implement many of her schemes. Perhaps hoping to avoid the ire of O’Rourke, she made clear that she supports his approach to banning and confiscating AR-15s and similar semi-automatic firearms. Some of the candidates who took the stage mentioned their version of supporting the Second Amendment included, at least to some extent, the right of self-defense. Harris, however, spoke only of respecting the Second Amendment as it relates, in her mind, to the tradition of hunting.

Ultimately, this anti-gun rally produced what would be expected of an event run by an anti-gun news outlet and anti-gun organizations. The same gun control ideas that have been promoted ad nauseum by radical extremists for years, or even decades. It was at least slightly interesting to see at what lengths candidates will go to try and out-anti-gun one another, especially considering the controlled environment where there was no chance of facing any sort of push-back. Especially from citizens who still respect the Constitution, individual freedom and our right to keep and bear arms.