Self Defense

From the Bureau of ATF: Box Whine and #GunSense

For as long as I’ve been scouring Twitter’s entertaining #GunSense tag, any time I’ve come across a phony “mom” demanding “action” (or worse, a real mom so resigned to being helpless that she’s actually emdangering the only things on earth she ought to risk it all to save), I’d typically just seagull the thread long enough to poop out the following image. It pretty much sums up Bloomberg’s city-dwelling, terrified, out-of-touch, vaguely female clientele and its uniformly uninformed opinion about safety and defense:


I dont know who came up with that, but it’s a classic. And like most classics, there’s now a remake with better special effects and a bigger budget, plus some corporate product placement for good measure. And unlike the sewage pouring steadily out of Hollywood, this one’s actually better than the original (or at least as good). Save it to your online ammo box and hit ’em where it hurts:



Hat tip D. Mike.

From the Bureau of ATF: #GunSense, Gays, and the Intolerant Right

In the aftermath of the Orlando terrorist attack, there has been — predictably — renewed mainstream attention on the completely nonexistent “gun problem” in America. Fortunately, the narrative doesn’t stick so well when the perpetrator was a known radical Islamist on record as giving his acquaintances hell (or whatever it’s called in Muslim doctrine) over their pulled pork platters touching his burger at a barbecue. It’s even less compelling when the guy was allegedly on one (or more) of the federal government’s completely unlawful “watch lists,” demonstrating once and for all again the abject folly of these affronts to due process. The death knell for #GunSense* in this attack, however, is the fact that it was targeted at a group already marginalized for centuries — one that has made tremendous (if mostly superficial) gains in the last several decades.

And for all that time, Democrats have taken the LGBT vote for granted, making assumption after assumption that “alternative” denotes “liberal,” that one’s sexual orientation or gender identity should and would net the party a “D” in every column come every election day. Unfortunately, due most recently to court rulings on gay marriage and the whole bizarre bathroom distraction, it seems to be working. But under the surface, these initiatives are unimaginably insulting: The LGBT community is being exploited like a circus sideshow of freaks by the government it believes serves their best interests. Gay marriage a big win? No, folks, this is mere capitulation to government’s assertion that it is the sole licensor of love between individuals, that it has any conceivable say in who and how you love yourself and others. And as much of a sham** as all marriage licenses are***, the bathroom brouhaha is even more of a joke. The state thinks that where you piss in public matters more to you than the basic civil rights it regularly withholds from you and everyone else. The bathroom stink is a literal shit show, as if baking brownies (or baking cakes) is what the silly, childish LGBT community is really all about.

Because, LGBTers, that’s what #GunSense — and the politicians who promote it — think you are: children. In Orlando, there are no kids’ graves to dance on, so you’re filling in. Just like it’s unthinkable to arm youngsters in the face of violence, so too is it unthinkable to arm LGBTs. After all, you cannot be trusted to make mature, responsible, traditionally “moral” decisions, can you? Just like kids, you need a parent or guardian to take care of you, to salve your skinned knee and hurt feelings, to tell you you’re great. You aren’t a real adult. You aren’t a real individual. You are a ward. You are property.

It is dehumanizing, it is marginalizing, and it is — in so many awful ways — the epitome of pandering.

Which gets me to my main point:

Pandering is an important concept post-Orlando, and the LGBT community would do well to pay close attention to where it’s coming from and how it’s framed.

The government, naturally, will continue to use the Orlando victims’ lifestyle associations to foment a false “minority issue,” making the push to further limit firearms rights based on the terroristic threats that “gun nuts” present to the so-called “othered” others. It is in the controlling agency’s interest to tell you that you are a target and must kowtow to authority in order to maintain your ever-more-tenuous, hard-fought freedoms. This is textbook pandering, and it is textbook unacceptable. Even to straight guys like me.

But it is “straight guys like me” who represent the other side of the pandering problem. And that needs to be addressed.

See, to those in the LGBT community, it may feel that, all of a sudden, the erstwhile anti-gay good old boys aren’t so bad. It may feel as if a bunch of formerly homophobic hillbillies are coming out of the woodwork from every end of the Internet to tell you to arm up and fight back, that they’ve got your back 100 percent when all they ever did before was look at your butt and laugh theirs off. It may feel like an uncomfortable case of “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” It may feel less than genuine. It may feel like pandering.

It isn’t.

At least, it mostly isn’t. The majority of pro-gunners I personally (or passingly) know do not now and have never given a single moment’s thought or concern to the non-aggressing lifestyle choices of others. Yes, there are some Second Amendment activists out there who only “support” LGBT rights as a simple means to the otherwise noble end of expanding pro-gun influence. That sort of manipulation cannot be avoided, but it also cannot be allowed to push the many new (and understandably tentative) pro-gun fence-sitters back over to the Straight Ticket For #GunSense side. Defense rights are too important an issue — too natural a necessity — to scare anyone off through such misgivings.

The reality is this: The “intolerant Right” really isn’t as intolerant as the Left and its media outlets have been telling you. Of course, as in all collectives, pockets of ugliness do exist. And those who claim to support Liberty while simultaneously denying the humanity of the LGBT (or any other) community are struggling with a cognitive dissonance not unlike that faced by targeted minorities who trust the very masters who openly seek to disarm them.

Of course, if you are at all unsettled by the potential pandering coming from the the Second Amendment side, it is important to realize that even if you’re just receiving lip service in the advancement of gun rights for all, the operative concept is “for all.” At the very least, you are getting valuable information that can help you develop the necessary attitude to see to your own safety and the active defense of those you hold most dear.

There is also this happy fact to consider: Many pro-gun, anti-LGBT bigots have also had their eyes opened and minds broadened by the events in Orlando. What once seemed like a sociopolitical impasse has been climbed over and conquered. For many “traditional conservatives,” it no longer matters who you love or what you do behind closed doors, because they’ve been awakened — like so many in the LGBT community — to the fact that the freedom to be is more important than the freedom to be gay or straight or otherwise. The latter freedoms are redundant, shielded under the umbrella of defense of the former. It should never take a tragedy to make intelligent people see the fragile nature of their freedom, nor should it take death and destruction to make folks put aside unimportant differences in deference to the only thing that truly matters. But the tragedy’s happened, and tragedies always will. We of all colors and creeds and genders and beliefs that comprise Gun Culture 2.0 merely hope everyone can learn from it.

You dont need permission (especially not mine!) to be who you are. Love wins. You just might need to defend it one day.

So go to the range, rent some guns, and become familiar with the tool that defines Liberty’s state of the art. If you dont have a rental facility in your area or can’t currently afford the expense (firearms training isn’t exactly the cheapest best thing ever), check out Operation Blazing Sword. There, you can get in touch with many good people around the country who are stepping up to offer free (or nearly free) shooting lessons for LGBT folks new to the scene.****

If you happen to be in the Florida panhandle, I hope to see you and yours at the range.

Remember, the best relationships are the ones that survive.



*Linguistically speaking, #GunSense is a blending of the term “gun control” and the word “nonsense.” Logically speaking, it’s a redundant, pathetic portmanteau, more French in spirit than even the word that describes it.

**You do get tax breaks on taxes that shouldn’t exist in the first place, so I guess that’s something.

***An interesting parallel between marriage licenses and gun control is that both concepts were constructed around governmental limitation of black integration. Freedmen were not allowed arms to fend off the rampant abuses they faced once unshackled, just as intermarriage between blacks and whites was to be stymied via the issuance of relationship permission slips. The gun license, like the marriage license, has its deepest roots in blatant legislated bigotry.

****Note to volunteer instructors: Dont screw up. The rest of us expect you to do a good job, to be patient, and to be familiar with the requisite dos and donts. So dont offer your range, time, money, or advice if you’re not going to follow the Four Rules and make the experience a welcoming one for all involved.

From the Bureau of ATF: Arguing With #GunSense, Part 1

I like to argue. A lot.

In college, I was invited to join our two-time defending national champion forensics team. Naturally, that involved a trip to D.C., so naturally, I dropped out of school instead.

But I kept arguing.

Except now, I’m not an idiot 20-year-old, and I’ve distilled my focus down to a single issue — the single issue: gun rights.

It’s a good fit.

Too bad it’s mostly a giant waste of time.

After all, the practical outcome of any argument with a #GunSense* advocate is this little beauty right here:


While the above represents perhaps the deepest, most profoundly meaningful treatise on the nature of fundamental human rights and interaction that’s capable of being conveyed in four words or less**, it usually takes an actual living brain on the other side to piece together its multilayered implications.

So Gonzales is and always will be the TL;DR of the never-ending gun debate.

If you’re like me, though, that TL;DR mic drop is considerably less fun than wading waist-deep into the Stupid. You probably view anti-gun zealots on the Internet just as I do: a sort of shooting gallery to test and refine your own logic and internal consistency. They are practice. This series, then, is for you, and in each new part, I’ll be discussing a single debate tactic or gambit typically used by one side against the other. I’ll do my best to present these in order of most to least common, but there’s a distinct ebb and flow to the politics of the day to day that makes that more or less impossible.

Why is this important?

Because even as #GunSense hemorrhages capital and capitols (there is more restored legal support for private firearms carry today than at any time in the last several generations), the ferocious rhetoric of anti-gunners around the country continues to heat up. Much like your typical rifle barrel, the hotter it gets, the less accurate all the blather becomes. As custodians of Gun Culture 2.0, we can’t afford to respond in kind. Rather, we ought to pace ourselves cooly and calmly, refuting every onerous, fallacious claim with unassailable logic, remembering all the while that an argument is only an argument when proper reasoning is the aim. No shooting from the hip here.

So, without further ado, I present:

Argument 1, “The Problem”

  • #GunSense claim: “There is a gun death problem in America.”***
  • Gun Rights response: “Prove it.”

Okay, yes, that’s a pretty TL;DR rebuttal, but it’s just to get things framed up properly. With something as crooked as gun control, that’s sort of a basic necessity, and it’s best handled at the outset. Indeed, for most claims, this one phrase will almost always be a valid first play. More often than not, the grabber will take the bait and cite the number of “gun deaths” from the latest batch of annual statistics. (Note: It would be apprpriate at any time to simply share a telling chart or two demonstrating the US’ declining “gun death” rates even as private arms ownership is at record highs and climbing, but these will be dismissed as “memes” and ignored outright, sourced or not.) After reminding them that suicide makes up two-thirds of the total and is a perfectly lawful natural right, both sides will settle on an average figure of roughly 10,000 to 14,000 such events per year. In 2015, according to this otherwise disingenuous pile of propaganda, there were approximately 13,500 “gun deaths” in the United States.

While there is no way to reliably qualify or quantify what exactly constitutes a statistical “problem,” it is possible, via some basic arithmetic, to put this seemingly large number into perspective.

First, consider the US population. At the time of this writing, there are an estimated 323,461,940 people living in America. To be conservative liberal, round this down to 320 million.

Now, the math (or “maffs,” for our redcoat friends across the pond):

  • 13.5K/320M
    = 0.000042
    = 0.0042%
  • 320M/13.5K
    = 23,703.70
    = 23,704
    = 1:23,704

Unlike the raw “gun death” total the antis like to toss around tethered to hysterical, childlike emotion, the above figures are actually contextually rooted. The first equation reveals that only 0.0042% of the US population is likely to die as a result of “gun violence.” That means, as the second equation shows, that any given person on US soil has a one-in-23,704 chance of being killed “by a gun.” Since so many antigun activists claim that “gun violence” is an “epidemic” that should be “treated like a disease” and “studied by the CDC” (more on that delightful bit of backfire in another post), let’s do that, just this once, for the sake of argument:

In medicine, what is the threshold for a disease to be considered an “epidemic”?

An epidemic is defined thus:

[T]he slow spread of infectious disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time, usually two weeks or less. For example, in meningococcal infections, an attack rate in excess of 15 cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks is considered an epidemic.

The aforementioned “15 per 100K” rate is the most-cited baseline I can find regarding infectious diseases, so let’s go with that. For “gun violence” to be an actual epidemic, the US would need to experience a whopping 3200 “gun deaths” per week. All. Year. Long.

Since there aren’t anywhere near 166,400 “gun deaths” each year in America, “epidemic” is right out.

Hell, by medical standards, even Chiraq’s “gun death” rate is well below the necessary threshold. There were 445 “gun deaths” in Chicago throughout all of 2015. For “gun deaths” to be an epidemic there, there’d need to be 405 per week (for at least two weeks in a row). Not. Even. Close.

Clearly, “gun deaths” are not an epidemic. The bigger question, then, is: Are “gun deaths” even statistically significant?

You already know the answer.

Most mathematical models define statistical significance as at least five percent (0.05) of a given sample/population, but this can vary down to one percent depending on the area of study. From the initial calculations above, “gun deaths” occur at a rate of 0.0042% (0.000042), which is several orders of magnitude beneath either threshold for statistical significance.

In other words, US “gun deaths” are statistically insignificant.

If at this point the target of your overwhelming scientific acumen is still trying to argue (“Tell that to their families!” is not an argument, albeit I’ll write about how to handle that sometime down the road), he or she will posit that it doesn’t matter. He or she will insist that 13,500 “gun deaths” are simply and self-evidently “too many.”


Here’s your trump card: Respectfully ask them what number of “gun deaths” would be “juuust right.” The savvy-ish remainder will give up here, but a few morons may grasp at straws and, perhaps, cut the number in half.


Now you bust out this link (or, better yet even, its CDC source) and proceed to explain how approximately 80% of all “gun murders” are committed by known violent criminals against other known violent criminals (usually in gang- or drug-related events). Be sure to ask why it’s a “problem” that hoodlums and gangbangers are killing each other. Since there is no viable answer for this (unless it comes from the smelliest, flower-in-their-hairiest, most emaciated hippie on the face of the Earth), you can successfully and legitimately reframe the argument around the new number of “gun deaths” of innocents: 2700.

Reworking the original math, that leaves us with:

  • 2.7K/320M
    = 0.0000084
    = 0.00084%
  • 320M/2.7K
    = 118,518.52
    = 118,519
    = 1:118,519

In the US, “gun deaths” of innocent people are even less of a “problem,” way less of a epidemiological imperative, and way, way more statistically insignificant.


But dont despair — the antigun parrot will come to the conclusion that “even one gun death is too many.”

Congratulations, you’ve won the debate.

But #GunSense will never give up, so we won’t either. I just need to decide whether to cover “militia” or “nukes” next week.

*Linguistically speaking, #GunSense is a blending of the term “gun control” and the word “nonsense.” Logically speaking, it’s a redundant, pathetic portmanteau, more French**** in spirit than even the word that describes it.

**Technically, “molon labe” gets the same point across in only two words, but that serf language, like most serf things, is dead and irrelevant.

***#GunSense drones will almost always say “gun violence problem” when they actually mean “gun death problem,” as all of their citations will invariably focus only on deaths rather than total casualties. For the one antigun activist you ever meet that actually gives a shit about the people who dont die from their wounds, you might want to adjust this article’s math a bit. Obviously, this will not change the thrust of the argument’s general conclusions.

****I will stop***** ridiculing the French continent the moment its subjects sack up and wrest power back from the overlords that disarmed them.


From the Bureau of ATF

Dear reader,

How are you? I am fine. My name is Andy, and I’ll be contributing various features and essays to Gun Free Zone on a regular basis. Now, I dont often enter a GFZ willingly, but the chance to write for one of the most informative and entertaining pro-gun websites in the 2A blogosphere was simply too good to pass up. I’d like to thank Miguel for this unique opportunity, because, while I’ve written hundreds of articles for other outlets over the years (and still do here and there when an increasingly rare thought occurs), I’ve never actually had an established avenue through which to share my musings on the topics that actually mean the most to me and mine (and, I hope, you and yours).

And that’s firearms.

Well, not just firearms. Dont get me wrong — I love those. I love everything about them. Even Jennings has a tiny place in my heart. But I also love what firearms represent. Guns literally mean the world to me, as they are the literal means to preserve the world in which I live — my world. Guns secure and thus embody that most fundamental right to exist as an individual, free (or near as dammit) from the yoke of aggression and its ultimate tyranny.

Of course, that also means that tyrants dont like guns in the hands of thinking citizens, and restrictions creep. But 50 million Bloombucks and 21,000 gun control laws cannot erase 27 words put to parchment 229 years ago. Indeed, the anti-gun movement is failing faster and falling farther than ever before as post-Boomers are booming and blasting and rat-a-tat-tatting from sea to shining desert. (The Pacific’s right out because potato California.) Gun sales are clogging up NICS lines month after month, new shooters are charging thumbs-forward to weekend CCW classes, and the 24-hour mainstream news cycle designed to scare folks into submission is having the exact opposite effect: The public sees more and more clearly the ancient and immutable need for individual self defense in a crowded, chaotic, natural world.

Yep, Gun Culture 2.0 is pushing back. Hard. And it kicks like a motherf****** mule.

Yet far from uncouth, this is a culture of peace, patience, respect, and dignity. We are winning the culture war. Without aggression, without coercion, without threats, we are standing firm in the belief of the sanctity of ourselves. We are winning by educating and recruiting the erstwhile ambivalent, the fence-sitting, the fearful and hesitant. We are winning by forcing our garbage lawmakers to repeal their garbage laws through true grassroots political means, all while exposing gun control (and its exploitive “Gunsense” branding) as a cult of fraudulent, fear-mongering bigotry and hate.

So, you know, that’s pretty badass.

Anyways, I’ll be discussing this kind of thing (and a whole lot more) in the weeks and months to come. Expect gun and gear (p)reviews, lifestyle commentary, half-baked memes, bad puns, rambling tangents, and clunky turns of phrase. I ain’t no poet, after all.

But William Wordsworth was, so I’ll leave you with this little mashup I made a few years ago. It’s still one of my favorites:


Many thanks to Miguel for inviting me aboard, and many thanks to all of you for reading!