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Posted by Jeff Soyer on 26 Jan 2015 04:14 am

I didn’t even know they still maintained “the clock.” From Pierce Pioneer:

Atomic scientist have recently made an adjustment to the Doomsday Clock, symbolizing the recognition that climate change has been a major factor and will continue to put pressure on our industrial development to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

This new adjustment now puts the fated Doomsday Clock at 11:57 on 22 January.

The advisory board comments, “World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required. In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats.”

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist executive director Kennette Benedict explains, “Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenal pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity.”

Everybody panic.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 26 Jan 2015 04:09 am

From Yellow Hammer News:

Reps. Thomas Jackson (D-Thomasville), and Darrio Melton (D-Selma) want to make it illegal to carry a gun into any church in Alabama, even with a concealed carry permit.

Though it is illegal to carry a firearm in public buildings and schools, churches are currently able to decide their own regulations—any church can post signs banning weapons on their property. While banning guns on church property, the bill would also allow churches to give permission to its congregation to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.

Though he admits that he doesn’t know of any instances of unwanted guns in the church, Rep. Jackson said it’s just not a thing people should have to worry about, so it should be prohibited by law.

In other words, let’s fix something that isn’t broke because guns.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 26 Jan 2015 04:05 am

Dueling headlines.

1. From Slate:

The Myth of the Good Guy With a Gun

2. From KSL.com:

Police: Concealed permit holder stopped armed robbery of Vernal restaurant

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 22 Jan 2015 08:10 am

From the Burlington Free Press:

“Hiding in Plain Sight,” a first-of-its kind investigation in Vermont by the group Everytown for Gun Safety, monitored guns for sale on three primary websites, according to a copy of the report.

The group also posted 24 guns for sale on Armslist.com between July 28 and Oct. 9 and developed a list of 169 potential buyers seeking guns online through unlicensed sales, the report notes.

Investigators hired by Everytown conducted criminal record cheeks by searching court records in the geographic area where the potential buyer voluntarily listed his or her address, the report said.

Seven of the 169 people were prohibited by law from possessing firearms.

“At this prevalence, gun sale transacted on just three websites put an estimated 126 guns into the hands of felons and domestic abusers in Vermont — and likely many more — in this year alone,” the report said.

Read the whole thing because it becomes clear that everything is speculation, not scientific. In addition, there can be dozens of people with the same name in a “geographic area.” This is all so bogus.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 21 Jan 2015 08:31 am

No, really! Not sure of the make or caliber:

Astronomer Joe White could hardly believe his eyes while studying footage beamed back from the planet by NASA’s Curiosity rover.

The 45-year-old, from Bristol, spotted what seems to be an old-fashioned pistol lying on the face of the Red Planet.

The handle and barrel of the gun-shaped rock are clearly defined, sitting amongst much smaller pieces of rubble on the surface of Mars.

Mr White, a space video journalist who runs the YouTube channel ArtAlienTV, said: “Is this a handgun on Mars?

“This object is about five to eight inches long and looks very much like an old flintlock pistol with a trigger, barrel and handle clearly visible.

With pictures at the link.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 21 Jan 2015 08:27 am

And, the idiot gets arrested:

Once inside the store, Foster approached Daniels from behind, placed him in chokehold and took him down against his will and without permission. A brief struggle ensued.

Michael Foster, 43, was taken into custody and charged with battery.(Photo: HCSO)

When Foster grabbed the man, he began yelling that Daniels had a gun.

Daniels, 62, has a concealed weapons permit and yelled that fact during the struggle. Both individuals were detained until deputies arrived on scene.

Foster was arrested for assault. Why is the anti-gun crowd so violent?

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 20 Jan 2015 11:26 am

See my previous post about Gov. Shumlin saying that he doesn’t think Vermont needs any new gun laws. Now this:

An influential Democratic state senator says he’s unlikely to support a bill requiring background checks on gun purchases because the checks are unnecessary and unconstitutional in Vermont.

[ . . . ]

Sears, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said background checks don’t pass the common sense test.

“If I want to give a neighbor my gun, and I’m not hunting anymore, I shouldn’t have to go to a gun shop in order to do a background check on my neighbor, who I’ve known for 30 years. And if I give my gun to some felon, that’s my own fault, and I can already be held accountable for that under various laws in civil court,” he said.

[ . . . ]

“A lot of people don’t realize there’s a section in the Vermont Constitution regarding the ownership of firearms that, as I read it, is much more liberal towards the gun owner than the U.S. Constitution,” Sears said.

“People say, ‘It’s a violation of the Second Amendment.’ I think the 16th Article of the Vermont Constitution also needs to be read in any of these decisions we make.”

The article to which Sears refers is unambiguous: “The people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and the State.”

There is a lot of money flowing into supposedly “grass roots” anti-gun groups, most of it coming from former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Gun control has always been a difficult sell in Vermont because even most “born here” Democrats are against it. Even former Gov. Howard Dean was dead-set against it during his years in office. It wasn’t until he tried to make a run for the Presidency that he changed his tune.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 20 Jan 2015 06:35 am

You know what? This is a pretty good idea:

Touting the program’s convenience and affordability, Chicago officials unveiled Monday the city’s new gun-sharing service, “QuikShot,” which allows individuals to check out a loaded firearm for short periods of time.

The municipal initiative, through which users can rent semiautomatic pistols, shotguns, rifles, and submachine guns at more than 250 self-service kiosks, has reportedly been designed to make firepower easily available to residents and tourists alike nearly everywhere within the city limits.

“QuikShot lets anyone with a credit card walk up to one of our street-side firearm stations, select a gun, and head out into the Windy City fully armed in just a few seconds,” program director Arvind Reynolds told reporters, noting that borrowers can either rent their weapon for increments of 30 minutes or withdraw it for a full 24 hours if they plan on using it throughout the day.

Heh. From the Onion of course.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 18 Jan 2015 08:15 am

There’s a new push for “universal” background checks for firearm purchases in Vermont. Legislation pushed by outside groups is being readied. From the Barre Times-Argus:

But the bill is expected to draw strong opposition in a state that has some of the most lenient firearms laws — and highest gun ownership — in the country.

Groups and lawmakers favoring restrictions on guns have been talking about such measures for years, with those talks given new urgency by the mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., just over two years ago.

But Gov. Peter Shumlin, has been cool to the idea of new state gun laws, saying he would prefer to see the issue handled by Congress.

“He’ll listen to the debate, but he thinks the gun laws we have already have been serving the state well,” Shumlin spokesman Scott Coriell said Friday.

So that’s encouraging. There has been a concerted effort by pro-2A groups to shoot-down the proposed legislation and I believe that Shumlin is paying attention.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 16 Jan 2015 08:56 am

I don’t go along with the NRA on this one. Governor Snyder did the right thing. From the NY Times:

Mr. Snyder said the package could allow people accused of domestic abuse to obtain concealed pistol licenses. “We simply can’t and won’t take the chance of exposing domestic abuse victims to additional violence or intimidation,” Mr. Snyder said in a news release. “There are certainly some reforms that can improve the way Michigan issues concealed pistol licenses and we support the rights of law-abiding firearm owners, but it’s crucial that we leave in place protections for people who already have endured challenges and abuse.”

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 15 Jan 2015 05:04 am

An 80-year-old is collecting medals in Trap. Read his story here.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 15 Jan 2015 05:00 am

From USA Today:

A 132-year-old rifle was the last thing Great Basin National Park officials were expecting to wander across.

There are still a lot of questions around the discovery of a Winchester Model 1873 Rifle recovered by Great Basin National Park archaeologists in November 2014.

The rifle had been “exposed to the sun, wind, snow and rain” and was found leaning against a tree in the park. The stock’s wood was cracked and the gun has been extremely weathered. The barrel has rusted to the point of nearly camouflaging it as it tilted against the tree.

More at the link. Unless they can prove that it belonged to someone famous, it really has no monetary value. There are plenty of those from that period around.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 13 Jan 2015 05:31 am

Don’t know what they’ll cost, but they celebrate the NH Fish and Game Department. From their website:

In observance of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s 150th anniversary in 2015, two New Hampshire firearms manufacturers have created limited edition guns engraved with the Fish and Game 150th anniversary logo and an exclusive serial number. Only 150 of these collectable guns will be manufactured.

A portion of all sales of the commemorative firearms will benefit the Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire, N.H. Fish and Game’s nonprofit partner. In addition, proceeds from each of the guns with serial number 001 will go to the Foundation.

One is a Ruger .308 bolt action rifle, the other is from LHR Sporting Arms and is a .50 muzzleloader. Check them out.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 13 Jan 2015 05:11 am

From the Barre Times-Argus:

Legislation calling for more, and stricter, background checks will be the most concerted push in recent memory for changes to Vermont’s gun laws. Backing the effort are some very key players, including Senate President John Campbell, Senate Majority Leader Philip Baruth and Assistant Majority Leader Claire Ayer.

[ . . . ]

A group called GunSense Vermont is leading the effort in Montpelier for new gun laws. That group’s singular focus is on mandating universal background checks for most gun sales. The group’s founder, Ann Braden, says that means requiring background checks for sales at gun shows and on the Internet, which don’t currently fall under background check laws.

Actually, they do fall under current federal laws. Idiots.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 11 Jan 2015 03:31 am

The a-holes have been out in full force for several days. While most of it has been blocked (several hundred a day!) some has not. It’s time to finally bring the site up to date with the latest WordPress version, which has some very powerful anti-spam plugins available. In the meantime, things will go quiet here. Oh, and any comment containing the words “dating” or “surveys” is automatically nuked. No one will ever see it, including me. I’ve added those words to the auto delete file.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 09 Jan 2015 08:26 am

From the Washington Post:

French gun laws date back to April 18, 1939, though they have been amended a number of times since. They are certainly tough: There is no right to bear arms for the French, and to own a gun, you need a hunting or sporting license which needs to be repeatedly renewed and requires a psychological evaluation.

[ . . . ]

“The French black market for weapons has been inundated with eastern European war artillery and arms,” Philippe Capon, the head of UNSA police union, told Bloomberg. “They are everywhere in France.”

The number of illegal guns is thought to be at least twice the number of legal guns in the country. Weapons such as AK-47s can be bought for the equivalent of a few thousand dollars.

[ . . . ]

Even so, France may respond to the Charlie Hebdo shootings with a change to legislation. After a series of deadly shootings in 2012 in Toulouse and Montauban (which also involved the use of illegally obtained weapons), the response was a call for a crackdown on gun availability.

Because doing the same thing over and over again will suddenly produce a new result, said insane liberals everywhere.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 09 Jan 2015 08:11 am

From Bay News 9:

The White House said President Obama wants to make higher education as free and universal as high school by covering enough tuition to get students who keep their grades up an associate’s degree or halfway to a bachelor’s.

The President says students would receive free tuition if they have a mentor, complete eight hours of community service per term, and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

The plan would require both the Federal government, and States to split the costs. This type of legislation could be tough to pass, but it’s something that could help 9 million college students.

Wow, eight whole hours of community service per term. And who is going to pay for all of this free education? Ta-da! It’s the taxpayers on the hook again.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 08 Jan 2015 06:52 am

Elections have consequences. From Boston.com:

On the first day of the 2015 legislative session, the newly Republican-led NH House voted 228 to 149 Wednesday morning to allows state representatives to carry concealed weapons in the House chamber and Legislative Office Building, according to NHPR.

The largely party line vote re-implemented a policy enacted from 2011-2012, when Republicans last held the majority in the lower house. Democrats repealed the policy in 2013, effectively banning concealed weapons inside the chamber. Republicans currently hold a 239 to 160 majority over Democrats in the NH House.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 07 Jan 2015 06:00 am

From Techdirt:

All Frederick County (MD) Councilman Kirby Delauter knows is that he doesn’t like unfavorable press. Literally, that appears to be all he knows — at least as far as press relations go. He apparently believes that he holds the power to decide whether his name appears in print, rather than the other way around. Delauter blew off a phone call from Frederick News-Post writer Bethany Rodgers seeking comment on a story and then turned around and called her out on Facebook for using his name without permission.

Much more, some of it pathetic on Delauter’s part, at the link.

Related: Eugene Volokh adds:

Uh, Council Member: In our country, newspapers are actually allowed to write about elected officials (and others) without their permission. It’s an avantgarde experiment, to be sure, but we’ve had some success with it.

Posted by Jeff Soyer on 07 Jan 2015 05:51 am

Not sure about the punctuation there… Anyway, over at NRO, Timothy Wheeler looks at the new Surgeon General’s gun problem.

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