awa

A legal Thought Exercise

Reader Archer was letting his mind wonder:

First, assume the anti-gun lawyers’ claims are correct:
1. Firearms and magazines are only “in use” for self-defense if fired.
2. “Large-capacity magazines” (LCMs) are only “in use” if more than 10 shots are fired without reloading.

— Archer.

The first step in analyzing a Second Amendment Challenge is to determine if the proposed conduct implicates the Second Amendment.

For conduct to be implicated, the object must be an arm and the conduct must be “keep and bear”.

If it is an arm and the conduct has anything to do with “keep and bear” then the conduct is presumptively protected under the Second Amendment.

We define the conduct, “I wish to keep and bear ammunition feed devices that have an arbitrary capacity.” The state wants to limit that capacity to ten or less.

Before Bruen the court would presume that this conduct was protected. They would then move to the second stage of the analysis: How much does this infringe the core right of armed self-defense?

Since you can use smaller magazines, different guns, and the state has presented evidence that self-defense events involving civilians rarely use more than three rounds, the infringement is trivial.

The state has also presented compelling “evidence” that big ass magazines allow for more harm when used in mass shooting events.

The court balances how much raping is being done to you verse how much the state really really wants to infringe. The courts almost always came down in favor of the State.

Today, we don’t get that presumption of protected conduct. Instead, we have to prove the conduct does implicate the Second Amendment.

When dealing with a gun ban, Heller controls. If it is a ban and the object is in “common use for lawful purposes, today”, then it is protected under the Second Amendment.

Therefore, the state wants to make the object “not an arm” or they wish to make it “dangerous and unusual”. The state is arguing from both sides in the LCM bans.

On the one hand, they argue it is not an arm. Since it is just a box and there are many differently shaped boxes of different sizes, you don’t need to have this particular size and shape. Further, they argue that a magazine is not an arm because it doesn’t really do anything. It is exactly like a cartridge box, or the box of ammo you buy from the LGS.

Since it is not an “arm” it is not protected under the Second Amendment.

If it is not an arm, it can be banned.

Because the state knows this is a weak argument, they move to the second step, “Even if it is an arm, which it isn’t, it isn’t in common use for self-defense”.

The state is acknowledging that magazines are in common use as defined by Heller and made concrete in Caetano. Heller said possessed. Caetano said that “hundreds of thousands in lawful possession” made it common.

The state knows that if a court rules, correctly, “dangerous and unusual,” then they lose. They can’t make an argument about “dangerous” that has any bearing because it is common. It doesn’t matter if it is the deadliest weapon ever invented by man, if it is in common use for lawful purposes, then it is protected under the Second Amendment.

But back to Archer’s idea. If you only fire 3 shots out of a LCM, then you didn’t really have an LCM because use is …

It doesn’t work.

Having gone through the magic above, the court decides to go rogue. They rule that the LCM is NOT a protected arm. Either they say it isn’t an arm or they say it isn’t in common use, it doesn’t matter, they have allowed the ban to go into effect.

At that point, the state makes it illegal to have an ammunition feed device which holds more than 10 rounds.

The law doesn’t say anything about use, it is mere possession.

The cops show up at your self-defense event. They slap you on the back and congratulate you on surviving the encounter. They take your fire arm, drop the mag and count the rounds in the mag.

You only fired 3 rounds, just like the statistics say you should, there are 5 rounds left in the magazine, this means you had less than 8 rounds in the magazine. Your golden!

Nope. The law isn’t like New York’s (old?) law. The LCM ban said you had to down load your magazines. You could still have your 15 round Glock mag, but you could only put 7 rounds in it, or some such nonsense. In this ban, it is a ban on the possession of LCMs.

So you tell the cop you only fired 3 rounds. He and the CSI folks see three holes in the perp and no others. The witnesses agree that it was only three rounds, and there are only three casings on the ground. Your golden!

Nope, the law does ban using more than 10 rounds, it bans possessing a magazine capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

To wrap this up, consider the cops searching your home with a warrant. They locate a tarball of heroin. It doesn’t matter if you used it, it doesn’t matter if it is pure or cut a thousand times. The mere possession of that tarball is the crime.

Friday Feedback

We had some excellent responses regarding car safes. I looked at an in console safe for my truck, the price has come way down, it is now on the “to buy” list.

I’m in the process of bringing a new client onboard. This makes me grateful to Miguel for getting me started on WordPress.

Ballistics software is currently on hold until I get client work caught up.

For our readers in Massachusetts, be aware that there is a horrible bill being pushed. I’ve not read the bill, but second hand descriptions from people I trust on the Interwebs suggest it will truly mess with everybody.

As predicted, the argument being pushed by the infringers is that “in common use” actually means “in common use for lawful purposes, like self-defense” which actually means “In common use for self-defense” which actually means “shots fired in a self-defense event”.

There are some cases pending transcription that I’m going to be evaluating over the following days.

Meanwhile, the comments are open, tell us what you are thinking, what you’d like to hear more about, what you’ve heard to much about.

Not there yet…

J.Kb. posted about the case regarding Mexico suing a number of American firearm manufacturers for reasons. Oral arguments were heard in the 1st Cir. on the 24th. I’ve created one of my automatic transcriptions. I have not finished listening nor reading.

That is part of the plan for today.

The short version seems to be that the District Court tossed the case because it was in direct violation of PLCAA.

The problem, for me, is that much of this is not a 2A case but a bunch of other things.

I need to understand the legal concept of extraterritorial, what the lawyer is talking about when he claims that only some things are precluded by PLCAA. If a US court must hear the case because of a violation of Mexico’s laws. There is a section on “cumulative damage”, “jurisdictional stripping”, references to multiple cases, are all issues mentioned. They are also considering if they should allow the case to proceed, regardless of PLCAA because if Mexico were to do this in Mexican courts, they would have no way of enforcing on the American companies.

There is a bunch of stuff regarding “aiding and abetting liability”. And “proximate cause”, whatever that means.

Meanwhile, I’m attempting to get some client work done. Including GFZ. Have a good one!

Geek Rant — Linode/ReadWriteMany – Ceph

High availability is a concept that says you will have zero downtime.

Consider an old world situation. You have a server that is serving exactly one website. On that server you are running an Operating System, a database engine, a web server (Apache/Nginx), an interpreter, and a bunch of code and HTML.

In your browser (client) you type “http://www.awa-example.com”. This causes your computer to send a request to a DNS server to translate “www.awa-example.com” into an IP address. Dozens of computers working in a distributed way work to get that answer. Your browser then opens a TCP/IP connection to the address it was told to use.

When that connection finishes traveling across multiple different servers (routers) it arrives at my server. My server examines the packet and determines that it is addressed to the web server. The web server looks at the request and sees that the request is for www.awa-example.com. It looks through its configuration files and decides on which interpreter to use. It transfers the request to that interpreter.

The interpreter loads configuration files and loads the code to execute/interpret. That code runs and opens a connection to the database engine. The code makes a query to the database, the database returns a result, the code formats it and sends back a message to your browser, which displays it.

If any part of that long set of computers/servers and software fails, your browser doesn’t get an answer to display.

We have a “demark” that marks the point of responsibility. Anything outside the demark is “their” problem. Anything inside the demark, including the demark, is our issue.

What that means is that in a high availability system, there has to be at least two of everything. On the outside, we must have two “theirs” and two demarks. Linode provides us those multiple “theirs” and demarks. If one link into their data center dies, the others take up the load and everything continues as if nothing was at issue.

If we are worried about the data center, they offer data centers all around the world. We are happy with just one data center.

At their demark they send traffic to one of two “node balancers” we have purchased. These are in different racks. Each is capable of handling all traffic into our cluster. If they need to update the node balancer, they can update one, wait until it is up and running, then update the other. This is either software or hardware. They can physically turn off one rack, and we won’t even notice.

We use a cluster to support our clients. There are 6 nodes (servers) in our cluster. 4 are ours, two are theirs. Their nodes are used for the “control-plane”. This is what controls our cluster. When we tell our cluster to do something, it is the control-plane which orchestrates the other nodes.

We run two ingress pods. The node balancers send traffic to these pods directly to our nodes in a round-robin. If we need to upgrade our ingress, the cluster will create a new ingress pod, make sure it is up and running, then terminate one of the old ingress pods. It then launches another ingress pod, when that is up and running, it terminates the last old one.

There is NO downtime as this happens.

The ingress sends handles external SSL and internal traffic to services. The cluster receives traffic at the service and forwards that traffic to which ever pod is providing the service. If we run at least two pods, we will not have downtime. We set things up so that pods run on different nodes, if possible, so a node failure doesn’t take down all the pods.

Which brings us to the tail end of all of this. Our pod.

Our pod, in this case, is running WordPress. If the pods can mount a file system in ReadWriteMany then multiple pods can access the same files at the same time. WordPress has a directory of content. These are files that we upload, images, PDFs, videos, themes, and a boatload of other things. We want to have that directory accessible by all our WordPress pods.

We don’t have to worry about the database, that runs in its cluster. If one of the database engines dies, the others take over with no loss of function. We run a hot spare style of replication. We could use a multi-master version, it isn’t worth it at this time.

And this brings us to The Issue. Linode provides us with persistent volumes. This works perfectly for many situations. Unfortunately, those persistent volumes are ReadWriteOnly. This means that only one pod can access the files at a time.

Since there is only one pod, there is no redundancy. If that pod fails, the site goes down. If the node that the pod is running on fails, the pod fails, the site goes down.

On good days, when a pod fails, it is restarted and the replacement is up and running shortly thereafter. Downtime is low, but not zero.

Linode isn’t going to offer a ReadWriteMany anytime soon.

Which brings me to Ceph!

Ceph is a distributed block storage system with the ability to run a distributed file system on top of that block storage.

All I should need to do is deploy it to my cluster. Sure, if I want to buy 3 more nodes/servers and a bunch of disk space for them. Think $1000s of dollars per month.

But there is a version for Kubernetes called “rook”. It can even use persistent volumes. After a few days of fighting this on my local Kubernetes cluster, I finally got it working. All that was required was to deploy it to Linode.

12 hours of fighting and I finally got it mostly functional. Until I went to allocate block storage for Ceph. Linode doesn’t allow block persistent volumes! ARGH! I’m stopped.

Then around 2300 Monday I got it. I used the same volumes that Linode’s persistent volumes used and attached them directly to my nodes as block storage. Amazing! It works.

Today I got it all configured and running. I will be upgrading GFZ to be a HA site in the upcoming weeks.

The world is better.

Tuesday Tunes

There are many tropes in story telling. One of them is “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

People misjudge others all the time. I recently watched a video of a “prank” gone sideways. A “prankster” filled a gas can with water, went into a parking lot, found somebody sitting in their vehicle, poured the water on the vehicle and then pulled a lighter.

The “joke” is to see the fear in the people’s faces when they believe they and their vehicle are about to go up in flames.

The sideways was when the “prankster” went up to a pickup with an older man inside. As he started to pour the water, the driver got out with a pistol in his hand. The “prankster” then was recorded with fear on his face. Running for his life, screaming that it was just water.

The “prankster” had misjudged his target.

Another trope is the mentor telling the younger newbie, “Listen to that old fart, he’s old in a profession where you die young.” Old doesn’t mean stupid. Old doesn’t mean without means. Old, fat and slow can still be deadly fast.

I said I never had much use for one. Never said I didn’t know how to use it. — Matthew Quigley, demonstrating his skill with Colonel Colt’s revolver”.

Hanson v. D.C. (ammunition feeding device ban) – Updated

B.L.U.F. Another District Judge gets it wrong because they are another rogue judge.

Somehow, I managed to analyze this case twice. The first was back in April. The quoting is better, the references/citations are better. The snark is about the same. I believe it suggests that I’m getting a little better at this.

The first thing we notice is that judge Rudolph Contreras uses the Ocean State Tactical v. Rhode Island to get his definitions. When a multiple-round device like an LCM is attached, a handgun becomes a ‘semiautomatic’ weapon, meaning that it is capable of rapidly firing several bullets, one right after another.HANSON v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, No. 1:22-cv-02256, slip op. at 2–3 (District Court, District of Columbia) quoting the judge in Ocean State Tactical.

He also plays the language game. The law talks about “ammunition feeding devices”. He switches to “magazine” and once there talks about them as simple boxes. This is precisely the issue that the recent briefing to the Supreme Court addressed. By using the term “ammunition feeding device” throughout their brief, they make a solid case for why it is an arm and not just a box.

The good news is that the plaintiffs (good guys) did establish standing. All the plaintiffs have licenses to carry in D.C. All of them declared that but for the regulation, they would carry ammunition feed devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds. And some of them attempted to register firearms and were denied because the feed devices were “too big”.

Here we start to see the thumb on the scale On December 1, 2022, the Court permitted three nonprofit organizations, Brady, Gifford Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and March for our Lives to jointly submit an amicus brief in support of the District.id. at 4. I have yet to find a 2A case where these groups don’t have their grubby fingers in there, pounding the table and attempting emotional blackmail.

Playing Stupid

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Is it a sign of a problem?

I normally write my daily postings the night before. The article about pulling bullets was written Friday night for Saturday morning. After I wrote the article, around 2322, I decided it was time for bed. And got distracted on the way there.

The reloading press was right there. I had warmed up the scale before starting the article. So I sat down and reloaded the bullets I had just pulled.

Per the Hornady manual, 14.5gr of Alliant 2400 under a 156gr HDY GTX. Success!

Today I did a test firing. The .357 Mag was an afterthought.

That corner of the room which holds some of the cans and crates

I couldn’t find any 30-30, I knew I needed to load some. That required I find the 30-30 brass and prep it, locating the powder, then setting up the reloading bench for 30-30. The first crate I checked was labeled “brass”. Yes, it was full of brass, none of the brass was 30-30. The next two crates were labeled bullets, not worth checking.

This required more digging. I cannot find the crate or ammo can that should be full of powder, nor can I find the can or crate full of 30-30 brass.

I do find the 30cal can labeled “30-30”, I open it, hoping to find cases. Nope! Instead, I found the mother load. Two boxes of bullets. Old bullets. A couple of plastic ziplock bags labeled for 30-30. A bag with a single case ready to reload.

The bottom half of the can was full of loaded, ready to use 30-30.

Using the instructions I got from the owner of boxes for ammo, I started backing them in nice white boxes. 6 boxes, 20 rounds each of 30-30. I don’t need to reload any 30-30 today!

I took the Marlin 30-30 with scope out to try to zero it. Not a lot of joy there. I need to do it again. Since I was taking the 30-30 out, I took the Ruger GP100 with .357 Mag loaded up. Fired off the cylinder. Perfection. All the cases ejected as they should. No sighs of over pressure on the primers, and I’m below max load.

The 30–30 Marlin punched my shoulder harder than I expected. It didn’t zero. I’m not sure what is going on there. My Winchesters, firing the same loads, do an outstanding job of ringing steel and punching holes in paper, exactly where I want. Iron sights and all.

Sunday I need to finish digging through the reloading room. I know there is a couple of cans of powder in there. I just need to find them.