Gun Legislation Post Sandy Hook

I just spent the last few hours composing and sending the following e-mail to all my local and federal representatives. Governor Malloy got an abridged version since he has a 2,000 character limit on his contact form(!).

Before I post my e-mail I would like to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to those who lost loved ones on 12-14-12. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and suffering you are experiencing.

Dear [Recipient]

I would like to share with you some of my thoughts on legislation proposed locally here in CT and on the national level.

I’m not a gun nut who is afraid of “government tyranny”; I have my feet firmly planted in reality. I’m just a regular schmoe who happens to own a few guns, enjoys shooting recreationally at a range and keeps a loaded firearm in my house for a worst case scenario. While I do have a concealed carry permit, I choose not to carry a firearm in public. In my 53 years on Earth I have never been so afraid that I thought shooting someone was the only solution, and I’m still willing to take my chances. However, I do have issues with laws that serve no purpose and do no good to solve the violence problem our country faces, and indeed may detract from real solutions.

I don’t find myself to be a strong supporter of the NRA (too many crackpots for my liking), but the disingenuous argumentation and intellectual dishonesty from elements on the anti-side have provoked me to become a member, at least for a year, as a pure gesture of protest. After I did that I donated an equal amount to the ACLU. Let me outline some of the things I would support in terms of better gun legislation, just to start off on a positive note:

  1. I would support requiring training for the purchase of any kind of firearm.
  2. I would support extended training for a concealed carry permit.
  3. I would support 100%, no exceptions, universal background checks for the sale and transfer of firearms.
  4. I would support making it easier for those with serious mental health conditions to have relevant information included in a background check.
  5. I would support stricter laws and punishments for gun-trafficking, straw man purchases and crimes where guns are used.
  6. I would support a stronger effort to enforce the laws already on the books better.
  7. I would support removing Joe Biden as the head of President Obama’s gun task force; the man is a clown and he’s hurting any effort to reach an agreement (seriously).

Here are some of the things I would strongly oppose:

  1. I oppose banning specific types of firearms/accessories/magazine caps, specifically the so-called “assault rifles” and the erroneously named “high-capacity” magazines, which are, in fact, standard capacity. FBI statistics show – and you all know this – that the previous AWB did nothing to reduce gun crime, and that, in fact, gun crime has been on a steady decline for the past several decades, despite a rise in gun-ownership.
  2. I oppose special ammunition taxes, restrictions on how much ammunition you can purchase, and outlawing Internet purchases of ammunition. The vast majority of gun owners are recreational shooters, and making it harder and/or more expensive to get ammunition would simply inconvenience law-abiding citizens and do nothing to discourage criminals.
  3. I oppose requiring gun owners to carry special liability insurance for the simple reason that it seems, to me, intuitively unreasonable to be required to carry insurance in order to exercise a constitutionally protected right.
  4. I oppose a national gun registry. While it may seem innocent and even useful on the surface, it smacks too much of letting Big Brother know what you own and where to confiscate it. Actually, I’m on the fence on this one.
  5. I oppose gun free zones. People intent on mass murder tend to choose the easiest, least protected targets. While it has become something of a cliche to say that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, it just so happens to be true when the bullets start flying. The police can’t be everywhere all the time. While we will never know the outcome of Sandy Hook Elementary had there been a competent armed person on the premises, it seems to me that we can say with some degree of certainty that the victims would have had more than the 0% chance of survival they were afforded.

Finally, I am not a single-issue voter, I consistently vote D across the board and am not threatening to change my vote depending on your actions in this matter. I do however hope you take my thoughts into consideration before you make your decision.

Regards,
Lars Dahl

Beretta PX4 Storm .40 Smith & Wesson Full Size

Just got back from the range where¬† I shot my Glock 19 and compared the factory barrel to the Storm Lake match grade barrel I had purchased. Why did I buy an aftermarket barrel for my pistol? I can’t give you a rational answer. It was shiny (stainless), supposed to be more accurate and I had $150 I didn’t know what to do with.

The Storm Lake barrel is a noticeably tighter fit in the slide, but looking at the targets I shot, I can’t really tell much of a difference. Maybe the Storm Lake groupings were a little tighter, maybe it was just coincidence. If you like to shoot but are on a tight budget, spend your money on ammo. Not a bad word about Storm Lake, but for the average weekend warrior it’s not gonna kill zombies any deader.

beretta-px4-storm-full-size

After I had used all my ammo I returned to the front counter for a look at the rentals, and spotted a Beretta PX4 Storm full size in .40 S&W. I had previously owned a PX4 compact in 9mm that I got rid of due to idiocy (mine) and bad advice (others), so I was curious to try it out now that I have a bit more mileage as a shooter. I bought a box of Federal American Eagle .40 S&W and returned to my lane gun in hand.

It’s a pretty big piece of hardware, but not excessively heavy; I would guess about 30 oz. I had never shot .40 before and was prepared for some snappiness, but it wasn’t bad at all. The gun was a dream to shoot, in my hands much more accurate than the Glock 19 or my Springfield Armory XDM 3.8 Compact 9mm. I mean seriously. I made ragged holes in the center of the target just like I see YouTube professionals do. The only thing I didn’t like was the safety/decocker tabs (amidextrous) that made racking the slide a bit awkward. It also adds some considerable width to the slide, but this gun wasn’t designed for concealed carry anyway. The trigger was OK, but not super tight and crisp like the custom PRP trigger for my XDM, but adequate enough not to need any kind of tinkering (why don’t all guns have really nice triggers out of the box?). We’ll see what Santa brings me this year. Anyway, it’s on my list of must-have guns.

Can I Legally Keep A Baton In My Car For Self Defense In Connecticut?

This the first in an occasional series I’ll call “silly, stupid, contradictory laws that the non-lawyer doesn’t have any chance of understanding”. Beware or you may go to jail for a long time for exercising what you thought was sound judgment.

In Connecticut it’s fairly easy to get a pistol permit. You need to take and pass a firearms safety course. Most gun shops and shooting ranges hold such courses on a regular basis for a reasonable price, and you have to be really retarded not to pass. Once you pass the course you submit your application to local and state police, and if you fulfill certain pre-defined criteria (no discretion allowed by issuing authority [EDIT May 23, 2013: The local issuing authority DOES have discretion to deny, however, this discretion is so seldomly used that CT, while technically a “may issue state”, functionally is a “shall issue” state]) such as you’re twenty-one or older, you’re not crazy, you’re not a convicted felon, you’re not an illegal alien, you will get your permit. It may take a while because government bureaucracy is notoriously slow, but within 2-3 months in most cases you can legally carry a firearm on your person in public, whether it be concealed (concealed carry) or in plain sight (open carry).




But what if I want to carry something less lethal, say some kind of purpose-built stick, or a blunt object to fend of bad guys who want to take your money or rape you? Here is where it gets stupid and silly. I can carry a gun legally, and even legally shoot and kill somebody who wants to do me harm if there is no other course of action available to protect myself. But if I carry a stick I could go to jail, while my daughter’s rapist goes free.

Now I’m not one of those people who think America’s future depends on the right of its citizenry to carry guns. I don’t think society will crumble if certain people aren’t allowed to carry any kind of gun anywhere at any time. I don’t think it’s communism/nazism to have some common-sense rules to back up the 2nd amendment. On election day I consider the candidates’ stands on many things before I cast my vote, and gun rights are, frankly, not at the top of my list. But I simply abhor stupidity. If I can carry a gun (lethal), I should also be allowed to carry a stick, bat, baton, stun gun, mace/pepper spray (all non-lethal) if I so choose. The way the law in Connecticut is written a bear in the woods may potentially sue me if I beat it off with a broken-off tree branch while its trying to get away with my picnic basket. Read and/or weep as you see fit.

2005 Connecticut Code – Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited.

Sec. 53-206. Carrying of dangerous weapons prohibited. (a) Any person who carries upon his or her person any BB. gun, blackjack, metal or brass knuckles, or any dirk knife, or any switch knife, or any knife having an automatic spring release device by which a blade is released from the handle, having a blade of over one and one-half inches in length, or stiletto, or any knife the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, any police baton or nightstick, or any martial arts weapon or electronic defense weapon, as defined in section 53a-3, or any other dangerous or deadly weapon or instrument, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than three years or both. Whenever any person is found guilty of a violation of this section, any weapon or other instrument within the provisions of this section, found upon the body of such person, shall be forfeited to the municipality wherein such person was apprehended, notwithstanding any failure of the judgment of conviction to expressly impose such forfeiture.

(b) The provisions of this section shall not apply to (1) any officer charged with the preservation of the public peace while engaged in the pursuit of such officer’s official duties; (2) the carrying of a baton or nightstick by a security guard while engaged in the pursuit of such guard’s official duties; (3) the carrying of a knife, the edged portion of the blade of which is four inches or over in length, by (A) any member of the armed forces of the United States, as defined in section 27-103, or any reserve component thereof, or of the armed forces of this state, as defined in section 27-2, when on duty or going to or from duty, (B) any member of any military organization when on parade or when going to or from any place of assembly, (C) any person while transporting such knife as merchandise or for display at an authorized gun or knife show, (D) any person who is found with any such knife concealed upon one’s person while lawfully removing such person’s household goods or effects from one place to another, or from one residence to another, (E) any person while actually and peaceably engaged in carrying any such knife from such person’s place of abode or business to a place or person where or by whom such knife is to be repaired, or while actually and peaceably returning to such person’s place of abode or business with such knife after the same has been repaired, (F) any person holding a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license issued pursuant to chapter 490 or any salt water fisherman carrying such knife for lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities, or (G) any person while participating in an authorized historic reenactment; (4) the carrying by any person enrolled in or currently attending, or an instructor at, a martial arts school of a martial arts weapon while in a class or at an authorized event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such class, event or competition; (5) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person taking part in a supervised event or competition of the Boy Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of America or in any other authorized event or competition while taking part in such event or competition or while transporting such weapon to or from such event or competition; and (6) the carrying of a BB. gun by any person upon such person’s own property or the property of another person provided such other person has authorized the carrying of such weapon on such property, and the transporting of such weapon to or from such property.